A PROSECUTOR was shot dead by an unidentified man, just as he was about to park outside the Hall of Justice in Mati City, Davao Oriental on Wednesday morning, October 26.
The victim was identified as Rolando Acido, 54, city prosecutor of Mati City.
Initial investigation conducted by Mati police showed that the incident happened around 8:25 a.m. in front of the Hall of Justice at the Provincial Board Activity Center.
The victim, on board a Hyundai Tucson vehicle with plate number LGW-255, has just arrived at the Hall of Justice to report for work when two men on board a motorcycle arrived.
According to witnesses, the motorcycle boarded by the suspects had no plastic side cover and without plate number. The rider alighted, pulled out a caliber .45 pistol and shot Acido several times from behind.
The killer then boarded the motorcycle again and left. The victim was brought to the Saint Camillus Hospital in Barangay Central, Mati City.
The victim, however, died around 10:15 a.m.
Personnel of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco) recovered from the crime scene five fired cartridges and a slug from a caliber .45 pistol.
It was learned that Acido has a bodyguard identified as one Ariel Rosal who was tailing his car. The bodyguard, however, failed to catch the assailant.
The Mati police are conducting pursuit operation against the suspects and follow-up investigation to determine the motives behind the killing of the victim.
Acido was just in Davao City last Sunday to attend the launch of Kilusang Pagbabago at the Anendras Gym.
He is known to lawyers in Davao as he took up law at the Ateneo de Davao University. He was a seminarian at the St. Francis Xavier Regional Major Seminary in Catalunan Grande, and a known student activist.
He was among those that led the protest at the Remase in the 1980s that led to its closure.
He then decided to take up law instead and was a batchmate of now Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate.
"He always had a deep sense of justice," Zarate said when asked about Acido.
"That's why right after passing the bar, he joined the Department of Agrarian Reform paramaka-serve samga farmers."
After his stint with DAR, he became a prosecutor. Acido suffered a stroke a few years back when he was already a prosecutor, but this did not stop him from doing his work.
"I will not be surprised if this is work-related," Zarate said, as it is not impossible that Acido stepped on some powerful person's toes as a prosecutor, as he did as a DAR lawyer.
"I hope that the Philippine National Police will do a thorough investigation to give justice to Attorney Lando," he added.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct separate probe on Acido's death.
"We at the National Prosecution Service condemn the cowardly and senseless killings of City Prosecutor Rolando Acido. The ambush of City Prosecutor Acido is another tragic episode in the sordid saga of the dangers faced by our prosecutors in the performance of their duties," the DOJ said in a statement released on Wednesday.
According to the DOJ, the timing and the circumstances of the ambush have raised serious question about whether his death was related to his work as a prosecutor.
"We urge the PNP and the NBI to conduct parallel investigations to conclusively determine all of the circumstances surrounding this treacherous attack against City Prosecutor Acido so that the culprits may be immediately brought to justice," the DOJ said. (With Sunnex)