Two bullet slugs were found inside the chamber of the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge who was allegedly shot by her branch clerk of court, who later died by suicide, on the fifth floor of the Manila City Hall at about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 11).
This indicates that Manila RTC Branch 45 Judge Theresa Abadilla, 44; and Atty. Amador Rebato, 42 both died from lone gunshot wounds to the head.
According to a report, Abadilla and Rebato were inside Abadilla’s office on the fifth floor of the Manila City Hall, talking about the branch clerk of court’s reported “unfavorable” work performance.
Capt. Henry Navarro, Manila Police District Homicide division chief, told reporters that Rebato was planning to file his resignation after suffering from mental health problems and contracting the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), which affected his performance at work.
However, the clerk was seen shuddering and looking uneasy while talking with Abadilla. He then shot her point blank in the head using a caliber 9mm pistol before shooting himself.
Rebato died on the spot while Abadilla was wheeled out of the Manila City Hall on a chair and brought to the hospital on a police mobile.
However, she was declared dead on arrival at the Manila Medical Center at around 3:15 p.m.
The Manila City Hall was placed on lockdown following the shooting incident.
In 2019, Abadilla processed the P100,000 bail of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa because Manila RTC Branch 46 Judge Rainelda Estacio Montesa, her pairing judge and the one handling Ressa’s cyber libel case, was serving duty at a Las Piñas court at the time.
Prior to being an RTC judge, she was a law clerk at the Supreme Court (SC) for almost a decade.
In a statement released Wednesday night, Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta mourned Abadilla’s passing and said he ordered for the stricter implementation of security in all courthouses.
Investigation is ongoing.