Tadian town condemns judge’s killing

THE remains of murdered judge Mario Anacleto Marrero Bañez will be brought home to Tadian town in Mountain Province amid calls for justice.

Town officials condemned the assassination of the judge in a resolution crafted in a special session on November 7.

"The Officialdom of the municipality of Tadian finds the incident out of place in a nation supposedly governed by laws and strongly condemns it," the resolution read.

"Judge Mario Anacleto Marrero Bañez is a distinguished member of the municipality of Tadian. His unlawful, premeditated killing deprived our community of a living role model whose life is worthy of respect, admiration and emulation," it added.

Bañez of RTC Tagudin Branch 25 in Ilocos Sur was ambushed and killed on November 5 while heading home to San Fernando, La Union on board his vehicle in Barangay Mameltac, San Fernando, La Union.

He was the 6th trial court judge killed under the Duterte administration.

A total of 42 judges, prosecutors, and lawyers have been killed since July 2016.

On September 4, Bañez acquitted Rachel Mariano, a human rights defender and health worker, of trumped up charges of murder and frustrated murder filed against her by the 81st IBPA.

In his decision penned after patiently conducting prosecution and defense hearings, he said "this court is not morally convinced of her guilt. It may have been proven by her evidence that she is an activist working on the field of health as one of man's basic rights but that does not make her a member of the New People's Army. Much more, the allegation that she is one of the perpetrators of the treacherous attack is bereft of sufficient basis for the court to acknowledge any participation on her part. Her being an activist may have subjected her to suspicions of involvement in some subversive activities. But it has been a long standing principle that suspicions, however strong, cannot equate with the quantum of proof required by law to support a conviction."

The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance has likewise condemned the killing as well as the municipality of Tagudin and Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta.


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