IBP denounces killing of Ozamiz RTC judge
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Western Mindanao and Misamis Occidental province have condemned the killing of Ozamiz City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Executive Judge Edmundo Pintac, who was gunned down near his home on Monday.
Charles Rasonable, IBP regional governor, urged the police to bring the assailants to justice “the soonest possible time” as he denounced the killing as an attack against the rule of law and the legal profession.
“This senseless killing in broad daylight is an attack upon the rule of law, which is supposed to be a restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws,” said the statement from the IBP chapters in Misamis Occidental and Western Mindanao.
Pintac, 61, was shot dead around 4 p.m. on Monday while he was driving his car at Purok 2-B, Barangay Bañadero, after officiating two civil weddings at his Ozamiz City RTC Branch 35 sala.
Witnesses said four gunmen on two motorcycles chased Pintac and fired on him with .45-caliber pistols as he slowed down to negotiate a right turn toward the compound of his rented home.
Police did not find any weapon inside Pintac’s vehicle.
Authorities recovered nine bullet casings from the crime scene.
Chief Insp. Marlo Mesias, chief of the Misamis Occidental police’s Investigation branch, said investigators were checking possible motives, including the “sensational cases” he was handling before his death.
Among these were the drug and firearm cases against Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog and her brother, Reynaldo Jr., before these were transferred to the Quezon City Regional Trial Court earlier this year.
The Parojinog siblings were arrested last year following a raid on their parents’ house that led to the death of their father, former Ozamiz Mayor Reynaldo Sr., his wife, Susan, and several others.
No security escort
Pintac later denied the siblings’ petition to attend the wake for their parents and several relatives who were killed in the July 2017 raid.
Senior Supt. Emmanuel Hebron, Misamis Occidental police director, said the judge had not reported to authorities any threat to his life.
Hebron said a police officer had been assigned to Pintac as security escort but the officer was not with the judge when he was attacked.
Mesias said Pintac’s family had requested for a security detail at the funeral home where they were holding the wake.
In a statement on Monday night, Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro called on law enforcement agencies to hunt down and arrest the suspects.
Jacqueline de Guia, Commission on Human Rights spokesperson, said the CHR also would conduct an investigation of the killing.
Stickler for rules
Within the legal circle in Ozamiz, Pintac was known as someone who was a stickler for rules and was stringent in issuing warrants, seeing to it that the instrument was not founded on flimsy information.
He handled various drug-related cases, some involving high-profile suspects related to the dreaded Kuratong Baleleng, a homegrown crime syndicate in Ozamiz.
A native of Dauis, Bohol province, Pintac obtained his law degree from the University of the East while working at Manila City Hall. After passing the bar, he joined the Office of the Solicitor General and later the judiciary.
At the time of his death, he was the executive judge of the Ozamiz City RTC, serving for more than a decade. His RTC Branch 15 is the designated special agrarian court.
As a student, the 1.8-meter-tall Pintac played basketball and tennis. He later became an avid golfer who competed in professional tournaments.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.