20 May Cagayan de Oro Judge Emmanuel Pasal Survived Second Attempt on His Life in Barangay Puerto
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 38 judge Emmanuel Pasal was able to survive another attempt on his life. The ambush incident happened on May 19, Thursday at Carmen Hill in Barangay Puerto when he was with his driver and two police escorts heading their way to Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
Carmen Hill is a 4-kilometer uphill road which is a part of the Sayre Highway connecting Cagayan de Oro and the Bukidnon province.
According to Cagayan de Oro Police Director Faro Antonio Olaguera, the ambush specifically took place at the steepest U-Turn part of the road going to upper Puerto. He said that 4 attackers were just waiting for Pasal’s vehicle to pass by as hinted by the witnesses in the area who told him that the suspicious individuals were jogging around, waiting while getaway motorcycles on the side. The manhunt operations for the 4 suspects has already begun.
During the ambush, Pasal’s police escorts namely Police Officer 1 Ritchie Labiano and Police Officer 1 Jude Lyndon Mercado weren’t able to fire back from inside Pasal’s Suzuki Jimny.
Suspecting that the attempts on his life were connected to the drug cases at RTC Branch 10 in Malaybalay that he’s dealing with being the officer-in-charge presiding judge, Pasal has been provided security escort by the police officers for over a month already with 24-hour police protection from his home to his work and other forms of protection.
“I know this has got something to do with the drug cases in Malaybalay. There is no other angle into this,” said Pasal. However, he refused to name the person who he suspects to be behind the slay attempts. He will be asking for the cases to be transferred from Bukidnon to Cagayan de Oro.
It can be recalled that the first attempt on Pasal’s life happened last April 17 at the Shuttle Square in Barangay Gusa still in Cagayan de Oro where he was alone and on his way home after presiding a hearing in Malaybalay. Since then, Pasal has had police surveillance on his home.
As said by regional prosecutor Jaime Umpa, 94.5% of the cities and municipalities in Bukidnon have illegal drug problems. Based on province-wide illegal drug refresher course data in February 2015, 114 out of 464 barangays in the province are affected by illegal drugs.