By Macon Araneta
Sen. Richard Gordon called on the Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to re-open and resolve cold cases of slain judges with accuracy and speed to ensure conviction.
During the second hearing conducted by the Committee on Justice and Human Rights on bills proposing the creation of a Philippine Marshal Service that would ensure security and protection of the members of the Bench, Gordon said the CIDG should work on resolving the killings, some of which have been committed more than a decade ago.
“It would be so inspiring and justice is being made in spite of the years if we can locate the killer of Judge Pattugalan, that’s called cold case? Pati yung iba din. Di ba 31 judges had been killed? (plus two retired judges) include nyo din ‘yang mga cases na ‘yan,” Gordon told PNP-CIDG Director Joel Napoleon Coronel.
The CIDG reported that 33 judges had been killed since 1999, with 23 cases already filed in various courts. Of the cases filed, 15 are still on trial, there were two convictions and six were acquittals.
The assassination 13 years ago of Judge Nathaniel Pattugalan while on board a public utility jeepney in Quezon City is among the cases that have yet to be filed in court. His wife, Anastacia is one of the resource persons in the hearing.
The committee chairman also underscored that there should be an urgency in the Supreme Court to have a post mortem if a case on a slain judge is dismissed to determine the reason for such.
“When a judge is killed, I would imagine na the Supreme Court should make sure na mas speedy yung justice diyan.”
“I don’t think I would be biased when I say that because tinutugis mo ang katarungan. Kung napatay yung judge, NBI agent o police, dapat full-press court tayong lahat because you are hurting every citizen in this country. It is like a slap on the face,” he added.