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PNP: Slain Butuan judge in Duterte drug list


Judge Godofredo Abul Jr. was shot dead inside his house Saturday morning in yet another violent attack on a member of the judiciary. Photo courtesy of RMN-Butuan

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday disclosed slain Butuan Regional Trial Court Judge Godofredo B. Abul Jr. was included in President Duterte’s narco list that contained the names of judges, politicians, and law enforcers accused of involvement in illegal drugs.

Supt. Martin M. Gamba, Caraga police spokesperson, said Abul was among the members of the judiciary listed in the so-called drug list of Pres. Duterte.

“The judge’s name was on the drug list of Pres. Duterte,” Gamba told Caraga News Courier, adding that the PNP regional command had nothing to do with the list as it came from Duterte’s own intelligence sources.

Gamba, said the judge, who was handling sensitive cases at his sala, including drug cases and heinous crimes was surprised and shock that he was in the list and went to the Butuan City Police Office to clear his name.

Gamba said the judge even issued a “letter of denial” where he narrates his unblemished track record in government service in denying any link to the drug trade.

“Judge Abul even went to the Butuan City Police Office and talk to the city police director and cleared himself,” Gamba said.

A source said Abul turned himself in to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Caraga office in Barangay Libertad to clear his name after he was implicated.

On Saturday , Judge Abul, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 4 in Butuan , along with his wife, were about to go out from their garage on board a Mitsubishi Montero Sports when two unidentified suspects on board a motorcycle entered the gate and peppered them with bullets.
The judge and his wife were supposed to attend a fellowship party at the Light and Life Methodist Church here where Judge Abul was also a pastor when the incident took place.

Abul is the second judge to be murdered in Caraga Region this year.

Gamba said the PNP was determined to solve the case and bring the perpetrators behind the dastardly attack
to justice.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and the rest of the Supreme Court (SC) denounced the murder of Abul Jr. and the wounding of his wife in yet another violent attack on a member of the judiciary.

“(We) call on the authorities concerned to take all necessary steps with all deliberate speed to do justice for Judge Abul and his wife by fully investigating the crimes committed,” the SC said in a statement.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) also condemned the killing of Abul.

“The IBP sees the killing of Judge Abul as a stain against the Rule of Law. We view all judges as members of our profession-one that is sworn to protect everyone’s right to life, liberty and property. Any life-be it innocent or guilty-does not deserve to be taken away so lightly by unaccountable assassins,” the IBP said in a statement through its national president Atty. Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo.

“We are committed to upholding the judicial process and work against those who applaud its erosion. We call on our law enforcement authorities to take all necessary steps to ensure that the killers and their principals are found so that they may be brought to justice,” it added.

“Summary and violent death sentences administered by unknown individuals is no substitute for a working judicial system,” the group lamented. By Ben Serrano and CLC

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