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Killing of judges: SC seeks answers, solution

/ 12:20 AM November 26, 2015

The Supreme Court has tasked one of its justices with coordinating with different government agencies to solve a spate of killings of judges and put a stop to the murders, according to a high ranking court official.

Lawyer Theodore Te, SC spokesperson, on Tuesday said the high court designated Justice Marvic Leonen, head of the high court’s security committee, to start discussing with “appropriate agencies of government” the creation of a task force “to address the continuing assassinations and killings of judges while in the performance of their duties.”

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The announcement came after the killing of two judges this month alone—Wilfredo Nieves, Bulacan regional trial court judge, who was shot as he left his court room in Malolos City on Nov. 11, and Reynaldo Espinar, Laoang, North Samar municipal trial court judge, who was shot in a cockpit in a neighboring town, Pambujan on Sunday.

The police in Pambujan has formed a task force to investigate Espinar’s killing, the Special Investigation Task Group Espinar (SITG Espinar).

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According to police officials in the town, SITG Espinar would determine the motive for the killing and identity of the mastermind.

Espinar, 53, was shot in the head by a lone gunman inside the Padcor Cockpit Arena in Barangay 8 Poblacion, Pambujan town, past 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The gunman, who was later identified as Ricardo Placa, was also shot and killed by Wilfredo Sarominez, a retired Army soldier who worked as Espinar’s bodyguard.

Sarominez has been detained and faces charges for the killing of Placa.

Supt. Jesus Miranda, SITG Espinar information officer, said while the gunman had been killed, police are not considering it a closed case.

He said it was possible that Placa may have been hired to kill the judge. The task force, he said, would determine if Placa was a “hired killer or has a personal grudge” against the judge.

The task force would also verify reports that Placa was not alone when he killed Espinar.

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Miranda said several angles are being studied by police—

among them that Espinar’s killing is related to his work and that it was politically motivated because the judge’s wife, Remedios, is running for mayor of Silvino Lobo town as a National Unity Party candidate.

The parents of Placa on Monday claimed the body of the slain gunman.

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TAGS: Carjacking, Crime, news, Regions, Reynaldo Espinar, Supreme Court, Wilfredo Nieves
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