A GUNMAN pumped a bullet into the head of Lanao del Norte Provincial Prosecutor Macadatar D. Marsangca, who was jogging at the Pryce Quadrangle, in Barangay Tubod, Iligan City, around 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Marsangca's killing came after the foiled kidnapping of a lady prosecutor in Cagayan de Oro in a string of attacks that Regional Prosecutor Jaime L. Umpa described as "a brazen assault on the country's justice system."

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Like the attempted abduction on Prosecutor Irene A. Meso late last month, Umpa said Marsangca's murder may have been "work-related."

"What's so painful is that criminals are becoming bolder in their aggression, to the point where they now target our prosecutors," Umpa told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Marsangca, who heard provincial cases in his office Iligan City office, handled high-profile cases with respondents known to pull strings or bribe government prosecutors to obtain favorable ruling, said Umpa.

Recently, Umpa said one such case had to be transferred to Cagayan de Oro because of the "overwhelming threats" on Marsangca's life.

Another high-profile case involves a murder case whose respondent was collared inside the Lumbia Airport before he could flee to Manila, the regional prosecutor said. He declined to elaborate because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Umpa described Marsangca as an "upright and hardworking" prosecutor.

"It's so sad that we've lost him. His tragic death is a great loss to the whole prosecution service," Umpa added.

Lanao del Norte Governor Khalid Q. Dimaporo expressed the same sentiment.

"The death of Fiscal Marsangca is a great loss to us," Dimaporo said in a press conference at the Capitol hours after the prosecutor's killing. "The killers and the mastermind on the death of Marsangca should be caught and put in the bar of justice..."

Iligan City Police Director Bernard Reamon Jr. said they are eyeing several angles in the killing, one of which is the possibility that it may have been work-related.

Another possible motive was rido or family feud, Reamon said.

According to Dimaporo, Marsangca had been involved in the settlement of rido, a term use for exacting vengeance by an aggrieved party against the other, leading to more killings until the dispute is ended.

"The court system must be upheld so in the case of those involved in rido they can settle their dispute in the court and not to take the law into their own hands," Dimaporo said.

The place is usually guarded by policemen but during the incident, no police car or policemen were on site.

Umpa said he was ordered by Justice Secretary Leila M. to submit the list of all high-profile cases handled by Marsangca to the Department of Justice "as soon as possible."

The National Bureau of Investigation, he said, was tasked to investigate the killing.

Marsangca's remains were immediately buried in Barangay Wato in Balindong town, Lanao del Norte, in accordance with Islamic rites. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)