Pique identifies attacker; Charges, security sought


The father of slain six-year-old student Ellah Joy Pique identified the man who tried to stab him outside the Palace of Justice last Monday.

Renante Pique pointed to the suspect’s photo which was published in a local tabloid yesterday but was unable to name him.

He will meet with the regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) to discuss his security.

“My family is afraid. We pray to God to spare us from evil,” he told Cebu Daily News.

The Cebu provincial police promised to secure Pique during his hearings at the Palace of Justice.

In a separate interview, CIDG-7 legal counsel Inocencio dela Cerna said they will file a complaint against the suspect.

“His actions are barbaric and should not be countenanced. We will not let this pass,” dela Cerna said.

Pique and his wife Ligaya and her mother had just attended a hearing on the murder case against Bella Ruby Santos when they were surrounded by 20 of her supporters.

During a heated exchange, one of the supporters attempted to stab Pique with a barbecue stick.

Dela Cerna urged the security guards at the Palace of Justice to be more vigilant in securing litigants.

Regional Trial Court Judge Macaundas Hadjirasul, chairperson of the committee on security of the Palace of Justice, said they have no control over incident outside the building. “We lack security guards at the Palace of Justice,” he said.

On Feb. 8, Pique’s family will commemorate the second death anniversary of Ellah Joy who was kidnapped by a woman and a male foreigner outside the Calaojan Elementary School.

Her body was thrown off a cliff in Barili, southwest Cebu. Santos and her partner, Briton Ian Charles Griffiths, were identified by police as the alleged perpetrators of the crime.

Santos was arrested inside a mall in Manila in October 2010 while Griffiths remains at large.

Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador Jr., Cebu provincial police chief, said he can only provide area security for Pique during hearings and not security escorts.

Comendador said it’s the Commission on Elections (Comelec) that could approve the use of long-term security escorts due to the mid-term elections this year. With Correspondent Chito Aragon

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