Suspect in killing of Camarines Sur judge arrested

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 13) — Authorities have arrested the suspect in the killing of  Presiding Judge Ricky Begino of the Metropolitan Circuit Trial Court of San Jose-Lagonoy, Camarines Sur less than a day after he was shot to death.

Chief Supt. Antonio Gardiola, Bicol police chief, said suspect Wilfredo Armea was arrested on Wednesday morning. The 72-year-old did not resist arrest, he added.

The 49-year-old judge was shot on his nape Tuesday night allegedly by Armea — his neighbor — in Barangay Sta. Maria in Camarines Sur province's Presentacion town. Begino was immediately brought to the hospital but was declared dead at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Gardiola said they are looking into the angle of land dispute as motive for Begino's killing.

Ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, in a statement on Wednesday, expressed her sadness at the murder of her friend.

She said she is relieved with the arrest of the suspect, but said authorities must address the "increasing frequency of violent attacks" against lawyers, prosecutors, and judges.

On June 4, a prosecutor from the Office of the Ombudsman was stabbed to death in broad daylight. Police said the killing of Assistant Special Prosecutor Madonna Joy Ednaco-Tanyag was related to a robbery incident gone wrong, but the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) urged police and investigators to dig deeper into the real motive behind her killing.