THE killing of Lanao del Norte Provincial Prosecutor Macadatar D. Marsangca will not dampen the spirits of the regional prosecution office to continue their dangerous line of work.
This was the assurance of Regional State Prosecutor Jaime L. Umpa, who said Marsangca's death only heightened their passion to "prosecute anyone without fear."
"When we accepted this job, we know the danger it entails. Risk is part of our work and we have to face it," Umpa told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
A team of prosecutors from his office dispatched to initially investigate Marsangca's death had reported that the killing may have either been work-related or had something to do with personal grudge.
He said the high-profile cases under Marsangca had been forwarded to the Department of Justice to scrutinize each charge and how this may be related to the murder, Umpa said.
"There is possibility that he was just a casualty of the dispute between two parties involved in a case he's handling. Kumbaga, napagbalingan lang siya ng galit," the regional prosecutor said.
He said there are several notorious groups in Lanao del Norte whose members have pending cases under Marsangca.
Still, Umpa said authorities should consider all angles in the killing.
"Despite this incident, I call upon our prosecutors to do their job with vigor and zeal and somehow be more vigilant against bad elements," he said.
Meanwhile, the National Prosecutors' League (NPL) condemned Marsangca's murder, calling it "senseless act of cowardice."
The 2000-strong NPL through its president, Quezon City Prosecutor Jonathan Lledo, asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) to thoroughly investigate the killing.
Marsangca was shot in the head by two motorcycle-riding men Wednesday morning while he was jogging in front of the Pryce Quadrangle in Tubod, Iligan City.
Lledo likewise decried the aborted abduction of another prosecutor, Irene Meso, in front of her children's school in Cagayan de Oro City last July 20.
Marsangca's killing and attempt to abduct Meso revived calls to arm prosecutors, lawyers and members of the judiciary against lawless elements seeking to hold them back in dispensing justice.
"If the government cannot give protection because of its meager resources and manpower, the least it can do is to allow its prosecutors to arm themselves," noted Lledo.
He added the PNP should allow prosecutors to carry firearms without having to go through the process of applying permits.
For his part, Chief State Prosecutor Claro Arellano said the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation should apply the full force of the law in locating the culprits. (Annabelle L. Ricalde/Sunnex)