Manila RTC judge fatally shot by clerk of court

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    A MANILA Regional Trial Court judge who was shot inside her chamber by her clerk of court succumbed to her wounds yesterday afternoon.

    Police said RTC Branch 45 Judge Maria Theresa Abadilla, 44, was shot in her chamber at the 5th floor of the Manila City Hall at about 2:45 p.m. by lawyer Amador Rebato, the branch’s clerk of court.

    Maj. Rosalino Ibay Jr., head of the Manila Police District-Special Mayor’s Reaction Team, said Rebato shot himself dead after shooting Abadilla.

    “Patay po sya using his own firearm. So, initial assessment namin ay nagpakamatay talaga,” Ibay said.

    Abadilla was rushed to the Manila Medical Center for treatment. But at 3:15 p.m., Abadilla was pronounced dead by attending doctors Jeremy Cordero and Margue Quitoy.

    Investigators from the MPD and the Criminal and Investigation Detection Group cordoned off Abadilla’s chamber while investigation is underway to determine the cause of the shooting.

    Police said before the shooting, Rebato, with his sister, lawyer Maria Karen Rebato, went to Abadilla’s office to explain the reason for his frequent absences. It was learned that Rebato had once been infected with COVID-19 and had decided to tender his resignation.

    “In the course of the conversation which lasted about 15 minutes, witnesses noticed that the suspect was uneasy and all of a sudden drew a firearm from his clutch bag and shot the victim in the head and thereafter shot himself in the head and died on the spot,” the police report said.

    Police recovered at the crime scene a cal. 9mm pistol with 12 bullets.

    Abadilla is reportedly the daughter of the late Col. Rolando Abadilla, the head of the Military Intelligence and Security Group during the martial law years. Col. Abadilla was killed in an ambush in Quezon City in 1996.

    Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta offered his condolences to the Abadilla family, saying she was a big loss to the Judiciary.