The gunman in the killing of Northern Samar Municipal Circuit Trial Court Judge Reynaldo Espinar last Sunday has been identified by the police.
Philippine National Police Region 8 spokesman PChief Insp. Mark Nalda identified the suspect as Ricardo Placa y Acibar a.k.a. “Ricky Acibar”, 22, of Bgy 2, Poblacion Catubig in Catarman, Northern Samar.
But the police have yet to establish the motive of the killing.
The Task Force investigating the murder of Espinar also told local media that three firearms were recovered from the crime scene. All were found to be unlicensed—the one used by the gunman, the judge’s security escort, and a Glock 17 .9 mm pistol of Judge Espinar.
Espinar was shot at close ranged by a lone gunman last Sunday while inside a cockpit arena in Pambujan town. His security escort killed the fleeing suspect whom police has identified as Placa.
Police said Espinar survived an ambush last May when two motorcycle riding men fired shots at him while traveling along a highway to Gamay town.
Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar Binay has condemned the cold blooded death of Espinar, the third member of the judiciary killed in the past three months.
Binay in a statement said: “These blatant attacks on the judiciary are unacceptable and I urge the government to hasten the investigation of these cases to make sure that these crimes do not go unpunished. We need to ensure the safety of our judges and foster an environment where the rule of law prevails.”
Acting on the spate of killings of judges, the Supreme Court has designated Associate Justice Marvic Leonen to head the committee that shall coordinate with the government agencies to address the incidents targeting the members of the judiciary while in the performance of their duties.