Palace ‘outraged’ by ex-Cebu fiscal’s murder

MANILA — Malacañang on Sunday expressed outrage on the murder of former Cebu City Assistant City Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro who was reportedly gunned down by motorcycle-riding assailants.

“We are outraged by the brutal and brazen ambush of former Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Malacañang has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe on the incident and punish the criminals.

“The Department of Justice, through the National Bureau of Investigation, has been directed to immediately look into this dastardly crime, identify the perpetrators and bring them to the bar of justice,” Panelo said.

He said the Philippine National Police (PNP) will also review whether there was an oversight that took place despite the election gun ban.

“The Philippine National Police has likewise been directed to check into possible lapses, if any, considering the incident happened during an election gun ban,” he added.

Panelo, meanwhile, assured Castro’s family members that justice will be served.

Reports showed that Castro had been involved in several controversies in office.

On Thursday (Jan. 17) night, Castro was ambushed by motorcycle-riding assailants as she was driving a yellow Nissan Juke along Escario St. in Cebu City.

Castro’s killing came almost a year after the Vice Mayor of Ronda town in south Cebu, Jonnah John Ungab, was shot dead after attending a court hearing at the Cebu City Hall.

Reports earlier said Ungab, a lawyer of self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, also represented Castro in at least one of the many cases she was a party to.

At least one lawyer is killed every month since August 2016, according to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. PNA