HIS handling of “sensational cases” may have been the reason behind the attack on Judge Edmundo Pintac, who was gunned down near his home in Purok 2-B, Barangay Bañadero, Ozamiz City on October 8.

Chief Inspector Marlo Mesias, head of Misamis Occidental police’s Investigation Branch, said investigators are now looking into possible motives of Pintac’s killing, including the number of high-profile cases that he was handling prior to his death.

Among those cases that Pintac handled were the drug and firearms cases against Ozamiz Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog and her brother Reynaldo Jr. before these cases were transferred to a Quezon City court earlier this year.

The Parojinog siblings were arrested following the series of raids conducted against the family in July 2017.

Their father, former Ozamiz mayor Reynaldo Sr., and mother Susan were among those killed during the raids.

According to reports, Pintac denied the Parojinog siblings’ petition to attend the wake of their parents and relative.

Quoting the initial finding of the forensics team, Mesias said investigators recovered four used cartridges, two pieces slugs, and a misfired bullet.

He said a .45 caliber handgun was used by the four assailants on board two motorcycles. Police did not find any weapon inside Pintac’s vehicle, only his personal effects.

Earlier, Senior Superintendent Emmanuel Hebron, Misamis Occidental police provincial director, said Pintac did not notify authorities about any threat to his life.

Hebron said Pintac was assigned a police officer as his security escort but the latter was not with Pintac during the shooting.

Mesias said Pintac’s family has also requested for security detail at the funeral home where the wake is.

Meanwhile, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Misamis Occidental chapter and Western Mindanao region condemned the killing of Pintac.

“This senseless killing in broad daylight is an attack upon the ‘rule of law’ which is supposed to be a restriction of the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws. Corollarily, it is an attack upon our profession. Thus, we humbly urge our police authorities to run after the killers and bring them to justice the soonest possible time,” part of the group’s statement read.

In a separate statement she issued Monday evening, Chief Justice Teresita De Castro has called on law enforcement agencies to hunt down and apprehend the suspects.

Jacqueline de Guia, Commission on Human Rights spokesperson, said they will also conduct an investigation into the killing of Pintac.