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Chief Justice Sereno orders Zamboanga City court to coordinate with police over judge’s slay

/ 07:40 PM February 28, 2014

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Friday has ordered Zamboanga City court officials to coordinate closely with police to speed up the investigation surrounding the death of Judge Reynerio Estacio.

Estacio was killed by a lone motorcycle-riding gunman 7:40 a.m. Friday on Narra Drive, Barangay (village) Tugbungan in Zamboanga City. He sustained four gunshot wounds.

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“Instructions have been given to the Executive Judge of Zamboanga City, Judge Peter Eisma, to closely monitor the investigation by the police of the incident and to provide whatever assistance the family of Judge Estacio would need at this time,” Sereno said in a statement.

“I am asking the law enforcement offices to act swiftly in getting to the bottom of this incident and to hold the person or persons accountable for this criminal act,” she added.

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At the same time, Sereno condemned the killing of Estacio, saying “It wounds us more grievously not only because we would be one good man less but also because the rule of law is diminished by the sheer force of arms.”

“I offer my sincerest condolences to his widow, Teresita and the other members of his family,” Sereno said.

Sereno lamented that the judiciary has no resources to combat violence but assured that the high court would look for ways of protecting judges and their families.

“We will not let the killing of Judge Estacio remain yet another statistic due to the judiciary’s lack of investigative or law enforcement capacities,” she said.

The high court, as early as 2008, is conducting personal security trainings for judges. It even provided an initial revolving fund of P10 million for judges who wishes to avail of a loan to buy a handgun.

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TAGS: Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, courts, Crime, Judge Reynerio Estacio, Police, Zamboanga City
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