Manila judge shot dead inside courtroom

Manila judge shot dead inside courtroom
People inside the Manila City Hall were ushered out on Wednesday afternoon after a judge was shot insider her chamber.
The STAR / Russell Palma

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2 5:53 p.m.) — A Manila trial court judge was shot dead inside her court room on Wednesday afternoon.

The victim was identified as Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 45 Judge Ma. Theresa Abadilla (44). The incident report named her chief of court clerk, lawyer Amador Rebato (42), as the suspect.

A follow up report from Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (SMaRT) chief Police Major Jhun Ibay said that Abadilla arrived at the emergency department of the hospital at 2:45 p.m.

She was declared dead at 3:15 in the afternoon.

In a separate report from Police Lt. Col. Arsenio Riparip (Ret.) for Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, the city security force said initial investigation showed that Abadilla was talking to Rebato about the latter’s performance “which seems unfavourable.”

The incident happened at around 2:45 p.m. on the fifth floor of the Manila City Hall.

Citing a witness’ account, Riparip, chief of the city security force, said Rebato recently got infected with COVID-19, which “affected his performance wherein he was planning to file his resignation.”

Riparip added that prior to the shooting, Rebato was seen “feeling uneasy and shuddering” while she was being questioned by Judge Abadilla.

He then shot the judge in the head and then took his own life with his own firearm of unknown caliber, the report read.

SMaRT operatives have since turned over the investigation to the homicide division. All gates of the city hall were also closed. 

For urgent mental health support, the public may contact the National Center for Mental Health 24/7 crisis hotline numbers at 0917 899 8727(USAP) and 989 8727(USAP). — Kristine Joy Patag

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