Statement of Sec. Leila M. De Lima on the Shooting Incident at Palace of Justice, Cebu City

22 January 2013

Earlier today, Mr. John Pope, a Canadian national who is an accused in a pending criminal case before the Municipal Trial Court-Cebu City, shot and killed the complainant and the private prosecutor, and shot and critically injured the public prosecutor.


The Department of Justice and all its offices, specially the National Prosecution Service, extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims. We are closely following the condition of our prosecutor.


There is never a reason for violence or cause for disregard of life. While the shooter reportedly killed himself, a careful investigation is on course to meet the ends of justice and to prevent similar incidents from happening again and again.


Justice sector institutions encompassing the Supreme Court, the DILG, PNP, the DOJ and the concerned local government units must build and strengthen our capacities for systemic reforms. Immediate action is needed to ensure the safety and security of personnel working in the front lines of the rule of law.


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