Assaulted sheriff not in hiding, says SC spokesperson
MANILA, Philippines—Davao City court sheriff Abe Andres is not in hiding, Supreme Court spokesperson Jose Midas Marquez said on Tuesday.
Marquez said he had not personally spoken with Andres but instead talked with his brother, who is a judge in Digos, Davao del Sur.
“He is not in hiding. It appears he just turned off his phone because a lot of people have been calling him. Baka napapagod na rin sa kakasagot. Judge Andres said (his brother) is safe and sound, except that he has refrained from talking to others,” Marquez said in a press conference.
Andres’ brother gave the assurance that the sheriff would be sending an incident report to Marquez soon.
“I want to know exactly what happened,” Marquez said.
Late Monday afternoon, Marquez met with officers of the Sheriffs’ Confederation of the Philippines who aired their concern that the the attack on Andres by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte might set a bad precedent in the country.
“They are concerned that if nothing happens with this case, this might happen again to other court sheriffs,” Marquez told the INQUIRER by phone following their meeting at the Supreme Court in Manila.
“I would like to think this is an isolated incident. I hope it is an isolated incident,” he added.
Marquez said the court sheriffs he met have not yet decided on any action against Duterte as they were still waiting for the facts of the incident and have not even spoken with Andres.
Andres was serving a notice of demolition in a contested property in Davao’s Agdao district last Friday when the mayor, unprovoked, punched him three times, with her bodyguard holding the sheriff’s arms in his back, preventing him from defending himself.
Duterte said she lost her temper after Andres supposedly ignored her request to delay the demolition for another two hours.
Andres suffered a swollen left eye. Duterte ordered him brought to a hospital after the incident.