|THE SUPREME COURT building designed by Juan Arellano|
MANILA — Many journalists murdered. Now three judges killed in three months.
The Supreme Court is concerned with and condemned the spate of killings of judges and named its youngest member, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, to head a body tasked to investigate the murders of the three judges.
The slain judges were Reynaldo Espinar, presiding judge of the municipal circuit trial court of Laoang in Northern Samar and also acting presiding judge of the MCTC in Gamay town; Wildredo Nieves of the regional trial court in Malolos, Bulacan; and Erwin Alaba of the RTC in Baler, Aurora.
Leonen will “start discussions with appropriate agencies of government towards the creation of a task force or task group to address the continuing assassinations and killings of judges while in the performances of their duties,” sai lawyer Theodore Te, the SC spokesman.
The appointment of Leonen came the same day the National Bureau of Investigation said it has created a team to probe Sunday’s murder of Judge Reynaldo Espinar, who was reported shot inside a cockpit.
Gunmen ambushed Judge Nieves while he was on his way home from work. Bulacan police said they have arrested suspect Arnel Janoras but was shot dead when he supposedly tried to grab the firearm of one of his police escorts.
In September, judge Alaba was murdered by still unidentified gunmen outside his office in Baler.
The SC has condemned the killings and called on law enforcement agencies to immediately arrest the perpetrators.