Cops linking 2 drug cases to murder of Tagudin judge – CJ Peralta
MANILA, Philippines–Police are looking at two drug cases handled by slain Tagudin Regional Trial Court Judge Mario Anacleto Bañez in determining the possible motive for his death, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said Friday.
Last Tuesday, Bañez was shot to death by unidentified assailant along Barangay Mameltac in the City of San Fernando in La Union. His death came a day after a senior military official urged the Supreme Court to investigate judges who dismiss cases against activists.
Bañez, in a September ruling, acquitted Ibaloy activist Rachel Mariano of murder and frustrated murder charges filed by the military.
“Judge Bañez’ [death] had nothing to do with search warrant. Based on the [news]papers, he acquitted a drug lord and received death threats because of that. That is what we heard,” Peralta said.
“I think it is more on the drugs–one was convicted, the other one [drug case] was about to be terminated so they [police] are concentrating on investigating on these two drug cases,” he added.
Bañez is the fifth active judge killed since 2017. The other judges are:
- Butuan City Regional Trial Court Judge Godofredo Abul Jr. (Aug. 5, 2017)
- Presentacion Camarines Sur Municipal Trial Court Judge Ricky Regino (June 12, 2018)
- Ozamiz City RTC Edmudo Pintac (Oct. 8, 2018)
- Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte RTC Branch 28 Judge Reymar Lacaya (May 10, 2019) /muf
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