(UPDATED) A trial court judge in the City of Manila died after she was shot inside her office by her clerk of court, who also killed himself on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.
A report by the Manila Police District (MPD) said Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla, 44, of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 45 was shot by lawyer Amador Rebato Jr., 42, at 2:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Abadilla was brought to the Manila Medical Center, but was declared dead 30 minutes later, or at around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Rebato shot himself and died instantly.
“Magpapaalam lang daw itong suspect na trusted staff nitong victim na magre-resign siya before the shooting. ‘Yan pa lang po ang information na meron tayo. Ongoing pa ang investigation,” Major Rosalino Ibay Jr. of the MPD said in a telephone interview.
(The suspect, who was a trusted staff of the victim, was reportedly going to tender his resignation. That’s the only information that we have right now. Investigation is still ongoing.)
A report by the Manila City Security Force to Mayor Francisco Domagoso said a witness related that Abadilla was questioning Rebato over his performance prior to the shooting.
Rebato had reportedly contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and his absence had affected his performance.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta, in a statement, described the passing of Abadilla as a big loss to the judiciary.
"I personally know her to be an upright and highly competent magistrate," Peralta said.
He said Abadilla was a law clerk in the Supreme Court for more than a decade before she became an RTC judge.
Peralta said he has directed the court administrator to employ stricter security measures in all courthouses to prevent similar incidents. (SunStar Philippines)