IBP: Lawyer, 38th since Duterte administration, killed

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
IBP: Lawyer, 38th since Duterte administration, killed
Since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, more than 30 members of the Bar, including prosecutors and judges, were killed.

MANILA, Philippines — Another lawyer, the 38th reported since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, was shot on Wednesday night.

Lawyer Rex Jasper Lopoz was gunned down by unidentified men on March 13 evening in front of a shopping mall in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines condemned the killing, noting that Lopoz’s death is the most recent “in a quick succession of violent attacks” against members of the Bar.

“We are almost losing count, but there have been 38 such reported killings since Atty. Rogelio Bato Jr. was killed by unidentified gunmen in Tacloban, Leyte on Aug. 23, 2016,” the IBP said in a statement.

The 40,000-strong lawyers’ group called on the police to solve the cases, including the murder of former Cebu City Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro in January 2019 and the abduction of lawyer Alwyn Mendoza in Nueva Ecija last month.

“The series of unsolved crimes against lawyers has germinated a dark halo of fear that has paralyzed the most important pillars of the justice system,” the IBP said.

“Murder and other forms of mindless violence have no place in civilized society. Lawyers are professionals who must not be associated with the perceived crimes of their clients,” they added.

The IBP renewed their call to the Supreme Court to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the killings of Filipino lawyers.

They urged the Philippines’ highest court to convene a dialogue among the SC, IBP, state security forces and other organizations to ensure the safety of lawyers nationwide.

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, last year, said that he would seek his colleagues’ agreement to conduct an independent probe into the killings of lawyers in the country.




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