Canadian gunman kills two in Cebu City court
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - A Canadian man shot dead two people including a lawyer in a Cebu City courtroom Tuesday, January 22, using a pistol he smuggled inside the court as he went on trial for petty mischief, police said.
The Canadian man shot a local doctor who sued him, as well as the doctor's lawyer, and then turned the pistol on other people in the courtroom, injuring a government prosecutor.
The suspect, who was not named, was also shot and wounded in the melee, regional police chief Marcelo Garbo said on dzBB radio.
Killed during the incident were physician Rene Rafols and lawyer Jubian Achas. Maria Casino, a Cebu city prosecutor, was wounded.
"We are investigating how the suspect managed to bring in the gun," Garbo said.
He gave no other details about the criminal case against the Canadian man.
The incident came amid public debate over stricter gun control laws in the Philippines, following a spate of high profile gun-related deaths this month.
Lapses in security?
The incident, according to Cebu City chief prosecutor Nicolas Sellon, showed how primitive security was in the palace of justice.
"We worry for our security, [the incident] proves that [the Cebu] palace of justice is not secured," Sellon said.
Jojo Cornejo, brother of prosecutor Casino, noted the absence of metal detectors in the building's entrances.
"Metal detectors should be present not only upon point of entry, but even the court itself. We can notice how people come and go in courts without checking," Cornejo said.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama assured the families of the victims that those who committed the security lapses will be punished.
The Cebu City Government is also preparing financial assistance for Casiño.
"[They should be alert]--that was my instruction to all the police. I don’t wish this [incident] to happen [again],” Rama told reporters. – Ryan Sorote, Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com