Legazpi City — A municipal trial court judge was gunned down on Tuesday afternoon in Barangay Santa Maria, Presentacion town in Camarines Sur, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol reported yesterday.
PNP Bicol spokesperson Senior Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib identified the victim as Judge Ricky Begino, 49,of the Metropolitan Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of San Jose-Lagonoy town in Camarines Sur.
Acting Supreme Court Chief Justice Antonio Carpio expressed his indignation against the recent killing of a presiding judge in Camarines Sur while urging authorities to employ “deliberate speed” in solving the crime.
In a statement released by Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te said Carpio condemns ‘in the strongest terms’ the killing of Presiding Judge Ricky Begino of the Metropolitan Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of San Jose-Lagonoy, Camarines Sur.”
Begino was shot in front of his house in Barangay Sta. Maria, Presentacion town in Camarines Sur last Tuesday afternoon.
Carpio also urged authorities to “take all the necessary steps with all deliberate speed to do justice for Begino by fully investigating his killing.”
The suspect was identified as Wilfredo Armea, 72, and a relative of Begino, according to the slain judge’s close friend, lawyer Henry Briguerra.
“I knew the victim “very well” and that “so far, the information I received, it was that the person who had killed him was also their relative,” said Briguerra in a radio interview.
Handgun shot on the neck
The attack occurred at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, while the victim was standing along the street when the suspect armed with a still unknown type of handgun shot him in the neck.
The victim was rushed to the town Rural Health Unit and later was transferred to the NICC Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival by attending physicians.
Begino’s killing came days after Office of the Ombudsman Special Assistant Prosecutor Madonna Joy Tanyag was stabbed to death in Quezon City on June 4.
The Camarines Sur judge’s killer had reportedly surrendered to authorities Wednesday morning and was placed under police custody.
“I condole with the family. The hardworking judge was a loss. I can’t understand why this kind of problem cropped up. I hope that this won’t happen to other judges,” added Briguerra.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, in February, had already formed a task force to investigate the killings of lawyers as more than 10 members of the bar, among them active and retired prosecutors, have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office.
IBP National President Abdiel Dan Fajardo created a five-member panel to “to investigate, document, prosecute or assist in the prosecution of cases involving the murder or violent assault against the members of the Bar and their families.”