NBI probes killing of lady judge in Manila

Published November 13, 2020, 10:33 AM

by Jeffrey Damicog

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been directed to look into the killing of a lady judge in Manila.


Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Friday (Nov. 11) that he himself gave the directive to the NBI to investigate the killing of Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla, 44, of Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 45.

“Though Judge Abadilla’s death appears to have arisen from an internal issue with her clerk of court, I have nonetheless directed the NBI to conduct a parallel probe, considering that the incident has implications on the personal security of our judges and justices,” Guevarra said.

“The NBI will look into all possible angles and motives, as well as make recommendations to the Supreme Court on improving security measures in all halls of justice, court rooms, and premises,” he added.

Abadilla was shot inside her courtroom located on the fifth floor of the Manila City Hall at around 2:45 p.m. last Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The judge was rushed to the Manila Medical Center but was declared dead on arrival at 3:15 p.m. the same day.

Police has identified the shooter as her clerk of court, Atty. Amador Rebato, 42.

The lawyer was already found dead slumped inside the magistrate’s office and was believed to have committed suicide.

Police said Abadilla and Rebato were inside the magistrate’s office talking about the clerk of court’s reported “unfavorable” work performance.

Manila Police District (MPD) homicide division chief Capt. Henry Navarro said Rebato was planning to file his resignation after suffering from mental health problems and contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (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.