We, in the Department of Justice, have been struck by tragedy today, as we learned of the shameless and senseless killing of one of our valued colleagues.
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Alexander Sandoval, Office of the Provincial Prosecutor, of Batangas, was shot dead by two unidentified men on board a motorcycle, along a highway in Barangay Muzon in San Luis Town, near the boundary of the town of Sta. Teresita, at around 11:00 in the morning today.
In broad daylight and just a few meters away from the Sta. Teresita Court, the gunmen brazenly approached Prosecutor Sandoval and fired at him. Nine (9) bullets were mercilessly pumped into the body of Prosecutor Sandoval, causing his instantaneous death. The suspects cowardly fled and abandoned their motorcycle a few kilometers away from where Prosecutor Sandoval was shot.
In behalf of the Department and in my own personal capacity, I, Secretary Leila M. De Lima, convey, in the strongest terms possible, our collective outrage and condemnation of such heinous and cowardly act.
The horrendous murder of Prosecutor Sandoval is more than just a killing of a dedicated public servant, but, rather, a testament to the brazen campaign of fear and intimidation aimed specifically at prosecutors and law enforcers worldwide.
In response to this blatant assault, not just against one of our own, but against our entire system of government and the Filipino nation as a whole, I have directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an extensive investigation into the death of Prosecutor Sandoval. I, likewise, personally, appeal to the leadership of the Philippine National Police to intensify its pursuit operations against the gunmen.
I have also asked Prosecutor General CLARO A. ARELLANO to ascertain whether Prosecutor Sandoval was handling any sensitive or high-profile cases, which may be helpful in ascertaining the motives for the killing, and to relay forthwith such and any other relevant information to the NBI.
As we work towards bringing to justice those who are responsible for this crime, we also wish to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of the late Batangas Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Alexander Sandoval. Their loss is the loss of the National Prosecution Service and of the Department. May they find some comfort in our assurance that we shall endeavor to deliver justice for Prosecutor Sandoval.