MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday said it has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the case of a Manila court judge who was killed inside her office last Wednesday.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the NBI will probe “all possible angles and motives” and “make recommendations to the supreme court on improving security measures in all halls of justice, court rooms, and premises.”
Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 45 was shot inside her chamber by her clerk of court, Atty. Amador Rebato, who allegedly shot himself during the incident.
She was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead.
“Though Judge Abadilla’s death appears to have arisen from an internal issue with her clerk of court, I have, nonetheless, directed the NBI to conduct a parallel probe considering that the incident has implications on the personal security of our judges and justices,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.
The Supreme Court, meanwhile, welcomed Guevarra’s move.
“Pwede naman talaga investigate yung NBI because a crime has been committed. But we are also investigating and reviewing court policies,” Court Administrator Midas Marquez said.
He added that Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has ordered the implementation of stricter measures to prevent similar incidents from occurring.
“The passing of Judge Abadilla is indeed a big loss to the judiciary because I personally know her to be an upright and highly competent magistrate,” Peralta said in a statement on Wednesday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento