Fund raising, prayers for fiscal

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Cebu City Asst. Prosecutor Ma. Theresa Casiño remains under observation for at least a week before doctors proceed with the surgery to remove the bullet in the nape of her neck.

“Fiscal Casiño is still in the intensive care unit (ICU). Her condition is delicate. I understand there are major blood vessels to be affected,” said Mae Elaine Bathan, vice president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City chapter.

Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano called on Tuesday evening to get updates on Casiño’s condition and offered assistance to her family.

“She can talk a bit. But she’s not out of danger yet, she’s still in critical condition,” Gubalane said.

The IBP Cebu City chapter held a solidarity Mass for Casiño and the other victims of the incident at 5:30 p.m yesterday.

The group said they condemned the incident and called for increased security in all courts nationwide.

Casiño was shot by Canadian expatriate John Pope while she was on her way to the Municipal Trial Court in Cities Branch 1 last Tuesday morning.

Before he shot Casiño, Pope gunned down lawyer Juvian Achas and Dr. Rene Rafols inside MTCC Branch 6.

Pope was later shot by a policeman. Casiño is confined at Chong Hua Hospital.

She used to be an arbiter at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) before she was appointed to the prosecution service in 2010.

Casiño has a four-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter. Her husband is a lawyer of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

A fund drive will also be held to pay for the hospital bills of Casiño.

Part of the fund will be given to the family of Achas, a member of the IBP Cebu provincial chapter. Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district pledged to allocate P300,000 from his pork barrel to help pay for the hospital bills.

He said City Prosecutor Nicolas Sellon called him last Tuesday to seek financial aid for Casiño.

“I gave instructions (to Dr. Helen Po, Chong Hua hospital administrator) not to stop treatment and I would guarantee payment,” said Osmeña in a text message.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he also talked with Dr. Po since Casiño is a member of the Cebu City Anti-Indecency Board (CAIB).

He said Casiño could be covered by the city’s medical assistance program CHAMP. “But I’m pretty sure that the Department of Justice can provide assistance,” he said.

Senior Supt. Mariano Natu-el, acting Cebu City police chief, said they already asked permission from Canadian honorary consul Robert Lee to conduct an autopsy on shooter John Pope’s remains.

Natu-el said they are waiting for clearance from the Canadian embassy for the autopsy.

Floridan Quijano, Pope’s lawyer in at least two cases, said Pope’s sister Susan sent him an email last Tuesday evening asking what happened.

Susan also asked for the death certificate. Quijano said Susan didn’t say if she or any member of the family will claim Pope’s remains. With Correspondent Edison delos Angeles and Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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