A judge was shot to death by her own clerk of court inside her office on the fifth floor of the Manila City Hall yesterday afternoon, various media have reported.
Shortly after shooting Judge Maria Theresa Abadilla, the clerk, lawyer Amador Rebato, committed suicide inside her office. The Manila Police District said that Abadilla, 44, was brought to the Manila Medical Center but was declared dead on arrival at about 3:15pm. Rebato, 42, was found slumped on a chair by the authorities.
Colleagues said that they heard the gunshot at about 2:45pm. Rebato was infected with the coronavirus, and the clerk was shuddering when he was discussing with Abadilla. According to a report from Manila City Hall, legal researcher Juanito Reyes said that Abadilla talked to Rebato about his alleged “unfavorable performance.” Rebato then shot the judge in the head “without hesitation.”
Reyes said that Rebato was considering resigning from his post because COVID-19 was adversely affecting his job performance.
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said in a statement that Abadilla’s death was “a big loss to the Judiciary” and offered condolences to her family.
“Although there are currently security protocols in place in all our courthouses, I have directed the Court Administrator to employ stricter measures to prevent accidents like these from happening again,” Peralta said.
Police seized a caliber 9mm pistol from the crime scene, which was loaded with several bullets. Two empty shells were also found in Abadilla’s office.
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