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NBI probes killing of lawyer Ben Ramos

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
NBI probes killing of lawyer Ben Ramos
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers noted that Ben Ramos is the 34th lawyer killed since the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
National Union of Peoples' Lawyers Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation is joining the government probe into the killing of human rights lawyer Ben Ramos.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra relayed this in a message to reporters.

The Philippine National Police earlier on Wednesday said that it will conduct an immediate investigation into the killing of Ramos, who was shot dead by unidentified men on Tuesday night.

Ramos is one of the founding fathers of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, a group of human rights lawyers who provides free legal assistance to the victims of human rights violations.

He was one of the lawyers who provided assistance to the families of victims of the sugarcane farmers killed in Sagay last month as part of the Quick Response Team.

READ: CHR dispatches team to probe human rights lawyer's killing

IBP: Ramos’ killing an attack vs rule of law

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines slammed the killing of Ramos. They said that the violent attacks left lawyers “enveloped in fear as they seek to provide access to justice to their clients.”

“Our pens and typewriters are helpless against guns and bullets that have tilted the scales of justice alarmingly in favor of impunity and lawlessness, all in arrant disregard of the sanctity of human life,” the statement penned by IBP national president Abdiel Fajardo read.

The 40,000-strong group of lawyers called on the government to immediately solve the case, especially since not only lawyers, but also prosecutors and judges were targeted by the attacks.

Meanwhile, Hustisya (Victims United for Justice), said that the Duterte administration should be held accountable for the killing of Ramos.

“We call on the rest of the Filipino people to speak out against the killings, whether they be farmers, activists, lawyers, ordinary people. We cannot stomach a regime that kills to stay in power. We should put an end to a tyrant that perpetuates in power, with blood in their hands,” Hustisya said.

The NUPL noted that Ramos is the 34th lawyer killed since the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Prosecutors and judges were also not spared in the killings under the present administration that vowed a ruthless end to illegal drugs.

The IBP stressed: “Each unsolved and un-prosecuted murder of the officers of our courts of law is an attack against the rule of law. It cripples or paralyzes the moving parts of the justice system upon the well-founded apprehension that the attacks are a direct result of the discharge of their functions."

vuukle comment

BEN RAMOS

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 7, 2018 - 9:19pm

The Commission on Human Rights has dispatched a quick response team to investigate the killing of National Union of Peoples' Lawyer officer Benjamin "Ben" Ramos in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental last night.

"We call on the government to act with urgency in pinning down the perpetrators of this violence and proceed with active measures that would protect the safety of human rights defenders who continue to serve this country’s most vulnerable and marginalized," CHR says.

In April, Ramos, who was secretary-general of NUPL in Negros Occidental province, was included in a poster, then disseminated in the town of Moises Padilla, tagging him and other personalities as communists.

The NUPL, which also condemned the killing, described the poster tagging Ramos as a communist rebel as malicious and irresponsible. — Janvic Mateo

November 7, 2018 - 9:19pm

Rights group Karapatan believes security forces, "including their auxiliary forces who prop up greedy landlords", are involved in the death of lawyer Benjamin Ramos in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.

"When the Philippine National Police in Negros placed Attorney Ben’s name and picture in what can only be described as a poster-hitlist in April 2018, they have made them him and other mass leaders and human rights workers open targets for precisely this kind of attack," the group said.

November 7, 2018 - 6:08pm

The National Bureau of Investigation is already looking into the ambush on lawyer Benjamin Ramos, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says in a message to reporters.

Hustisya (Victims United for Justice), an organization of victims of rights violations and their relatives, in a separate statement says it joins the people of Negros in mourning Ramos' death.

"Killing lawyers is not just a brazen violation of their rights as people and as defenders, it shows that no justice can be expected under a regime that kills advocates of peace and justice, the farmers who feed the country, and lawyers who defend victims of abuses in the name of justice," the group also says.

November 7, 2018 - 4:00pm

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines condemns the murder of lawyer Ben Ramos in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental, the latest in a series of attacks on lawyers.

IBP president Abdiel Fajardo says lawyers "are now enveloped in fear as they seek to provide access to justice to their clients."

Fajardo adds "our pens and typewriters are helpless against guns and bullets that have tilted the scales of justice...in favor of impunity and lawlessness."

The national association of lawyers called on authorities to solve the case.

"Each unsolved and un-prosecuted murder of the officers of our courts of law is an attack against the rule of law."

November 7, 2018 - 9:30am

The Human Rights Watch expresses condemnation of the killing of human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos.

"Human Rights Watch denounces the killing last night of lawyer Ben Ramos... Ramos was a human-rights defender who took on pro bono cases representing some of the most marginalized sectors in the Philippines. His murder is a further indictment of the impunity that has worsened under the administration of President Duterte," Carlos Conde, researcher of HRW's Asia Division, says.

Ramos and his colleagues at the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers provided pro bono services to the families of the victims of the Sagay massacre.

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