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Cops still clueless on Baler judge’s slay

CAMP RAVINA, Aurora—A team of police investigators looking into the Sept. 1 murder of Baler Regional Trial Court Branch 91 Judge Jude Erwin Alaba is reviewing   240 cases handled by the slain magistrate for clues on the killing.

Senior Supt. Danilo Florentino, provincial police director, said the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG), composed of 17 investigators, is now evaluating the 240 cases ranging from drugs, land dispute, murder and other crimes being heard in his sala.

Florentino said of the 240 cases, they have gone over 140 cases.

On Thursday, PNP Chief Director-General Ricardo Marquez phoned Florentino seeking a speedy solution of the case. “The Chief PNP wants us to solve Alaba’s killing as soon as possible,” he said.

Eleven days into the killing, police have yet to unmask the identity of the lone gunman.

Alaba was gunned down  right in the compound of the RTC in Barangay Suklayin.

He died from a single bullet wound in the chest. His wife Margarita sustained a gunshot wound in her left arm.

Florentino  said an operation by his men in Nueva Ecija to look for a man whose features fit  the  sketch of the suspect has not  yielded results. “We need to validate the information we have with regards to the supposed suspect in Nueva Ecija as related to us by our asset,” he said.

The gunman was earlier described to be around 5’6” tall, of medium build, fair-complexioned and between 32 to 38 years old.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said an initial review of the cases showed that Alaba was handling sensitive drug cases and some land disputes.

Florentino said they have coordinated with owners of three CCTV cameras to extract information on where Alaba’s vehicle passed by on his way to the court compound where he was attacked.

Police are tapping security guard Nestor Natividad and another witness who had an “eyeball-to-eyeball” encounter with the suspect.

It was Natividad who motioned the judge to park his vehicle in the compound when the gunman suddenly appeared and peppered the vehicle with bullets from a caliber 45 revolver.  

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