Gordon hits recent killings of mayor, prosecutor
Re-electionist Senator Richard J. Gordon today denounced the recent assassination of former Anda, Pangasinan Mayor Aldrin Cerdan and Trece Martires Assistant City Prosecutor Edilbert Mendoza.
Gordon, who chairs the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, decried the growing impunity over the unabated killings in the country where criminals have become brazen in carrying out their nefarious activities.
“We strongly condemn the recent spate of killings and we expect that the Philippine National Police would put a stop of these senseless killings and run after criminal syndicates and their paid assassins,” he said.
"Nakalulungkot ang ganitong klaseng patayan na parang naging mura ang buhay ng tao. Inaasahan ko na ang ating kapulisan ay patuloy naghahanap ng hustisya para sa mga biktima dahil ang pagkitil sa buhay ay hindi kailanman katanggap-tanggap," he added.
The two killing incidents happened within a day of each other, with the first incident happening on New Year's Eve and the other one occurring on New Year's Day.
Last Dec. 31, Mendoza was reported to have been out in his yard exercising with a jump rope when the gunman shot the assistant special prosecutor at the back of his head, killing him instantly.
Cerdan was killed on Jan. 1 when he and a former bodyguard reportedly had a heated argument before the mayor was shot by an M-16 rifle. He was rushed to the town's rural health unit before expiring.
Gordon, a lawyer by profession, noted the risks that members of the judiciary are enduring daily and hoped that his proposed measure on Judiciary Marshals now awaiting penultimate action becomes a law very soon.
“That's why we filed Senate Bill 1947 to give protection to the country's judicial workers and their families. They risk their lives to seek justice, and yet they pay the price for merely fulfilling their public mandate,” he added.
“We hope that Mendoza's killing is the last involving any member of the judiciary as we aspire a future of protecting members of the judiciary and their families,” he added.
The Judicial Marshals Bill aims to improve the administration of justice in the country, as about 160 judges, lawyers, and court personnel have been slain since 1999.
The measure seeks to create the Judiciary Marshals, a body primarily responsible for the safety and protection of the Judiciary's members, officials, personnel, and property, including the integrity of the courts and their proceedings.
Last Nov. 8, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill on third reading which also aims to conduct threat assessments and launch investigations on crimes and other offenses committed against employees of the judiciary and court property.
It may be recalled that Gordon is also a noted victim of politically-motivated violence when his father, the late Olongapo mayor James L. Gordon, was assassinated in 1967, following several failed attempts.
Then a rising star at Proctor and Gamble, Gordon shifted to pursuing law to seek justice for his father’s murder, sparking a five decade-long political career that started as the youngest delegate in the 1971 Constitutional Convention.