CHIEF Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and the Supreme Court (SC) associate justices condemned the killing of Judge Godofredo Abul Jr. of the Butuan City Regional Trial Court in an ambush that also critically wounded his wife Bernadette.
In a statement, the court asked the authorities to leave no stone unturned in finding the perpetrators of the crime.
“The Chief Justice and Associate Justices express their outrage and sadness at the killing of the Honorable Presiding Judge Godofredo Abul Jr. of the Regional Trial Court of Butuan City, Branch 4 and the injuries inflicted on his wife on (Saturday), August 5, 2017,” it said.
The judge and his wife Bernadette were on board a car and were about to leave their residence at Alviola Village in Barangay Tiniwisan for a church service on Saturday morning when the assassin, lying in wait on a motorcycle, peppered them with gunfire and fled with a cohort.
The judge, who took four gunshot wounds, was killed instantly while his wife was initially taken to the Butuan City Medical Center. She was later transferred to a private hospital where she was treated for wounds on her shoulder and leg.
Abul was the second judge in the Caraga region slain this year. The first was Surigao City Judge Victor Canoy who was gunned down while buying food at an eatery along Borja street on February 2. Also, on September 23, 2016, Judge Hector Salise of RTC Bayugan in Agusan Del Sur was ambushed together with his driver along Butuan Highway.
The Caraga Administrative Region is made up of five provinces —Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur; six cities: Butuan, Cabadbran, Bayugan, Surigao, Tandag and Bislig; 67 municipalities and 1,308 barangay (villages). Butuan City is Caraga’s regional center.