SC denounces killing of Butuan judge

MANILA-- The Supreme Court on Sunday condemned the killing of a judge in Butuan City.

Judge Godofredo Abul Jr., 68, of the Butuan City RTC Branch 4 was fatally hit on his head while his wife Bernadeth, 65, was wounded in the attack.

"The Chief Justice and Associate Justices express their outrage and sadness at the killing of the Honorable Presiding Judge Godofredo Abul Jr. of the Regional Trial Court of Butuan City, Branch 4 and the injuries inflicted on his wife yesterday (Saturday), August 5, 2017," the SC said in a statement.

The high court called on law enforcement agencies to expedite investigation and arrest of the culprits to bring justice to the family of the judge, whose wife was also seriously injured during the attack.

"They call on the authorities concerned to take all necessary steps with all deliberate speed to do justice for Judge Abul and his wife by fully investigating the crimes committed," it stressed.

Abul and his wife Bernadita were in their a car and about to leave their house at Alviola Village in Barangay Tiniwisan before 10 a.m. on Saturday when the gunman entered through the open gate of their garage and opened fire.

Witnesses said the gunman fled on a motorcycle driven by his cohort.

Abul succumbed to four gunshot wounds. His wife Bernadeth was initially taken to the Butuan City Medical Center, but was transferred to a private hospital where she was treated for wounds on her shoulder and leg.

The judge was suspended for six months in February in connection to an extortion case filed by a Catholic priest, whose relative is facing drug charges.

Abul was the second judge in Caraga region killed this year.

Retired Surigao City judge Victor Canoy was gunned down while buying food at an eatery along Borja street last Feb. 2.

Meanwhile, Caraga Police Regional Director Chief Superintendent Rolando B. Felix immediately ordered the creation of a special investigation task group to assist in the investigation to identify and go after the assailants.

Source: Philippines News Agency