IBP welcomes arrest of suspect in Palawan lawyer killing
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IBP welcomes arrest of suspect in Palawan lawyer killing

(Philstar.com) - November 26, 2020 - 12:20pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines welcomed the arrest of a suspect in the killing of Palawan lawyer as it called for the resolution of other pending cases involving killings of members of the legal profession.

“We appreciate and commend the swift action and all those who helped bring the murderers before the bar of justice,” IBP President Domingo Egon Cayosa said in a statement.

Two lawyers, in Palawan and Cebu, were killed in broad daylight in a span of a week. Lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit was shot on November 17 while he was on his way to a hearing in Palawan. Barely a week later, on November 23, lawyer Joey Luis Wee was gunned down in front of his office building in Cebu.

The STAR reported that police on Sunday night arrested Jazer Rey Del Rosario, a former soldier and believed to be one of the men aboard a motorcycle that shot Magcamit. It added that Del Rosario underwent inquest proceedings at the province prosecutor’s office on Tuesday.

Cayosa added that the IBP has been in touch with the bereaved family and the law enforcement and prosecution agencies under its Lawyer Security Program.

The IBP president said they are working to also resolve the killing of Wee in Cebu City.

More than 50 lawyers killed since June 2016

The murders of Magcamit and Wee added to the more than 50 lawyers were killed since the start of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration in 2016.

“Beyond the consistent condemnation and justified outrage, we must act resolutely on lawyer-killings because violence against judges, prosecutors, lawyers and our fellow-workers in the justice sector mocks and erodes the rule of law,” Cayosa said.

“There are other lawyer-killings that remain unresolved by law enforcers or unresolved in the courts of law. We share the fear and frustrations of many about the brazen violence, continuing criminality and appalling impunity in our country,” he said.

The IBP has yet to give data on the number of solved and unresolved killings of members of the legal profession.

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers president Edre Olalia echoed Cayosa in an earlier statement. Olalia noted that there are too many deaths among the legal profession and they cannot even get justice for themselves.

“By any measure, the buck ultimately stops with the government especially one that has cultivate and enabled a new abnormal of a climate of threat, intimidation and violence in our society and one that has emboldened the attacks on human rights defenders,” Olalia also said.

Cayosa meanwhile called for the prompt resolution of long-pending cases. He also urged the passage remedial laws and rules and fair enforcement of the laws. “Accountability and ‘justice bilis’ are long-term and sustainable solutions to our nation’s dilemma,” he added. — Kristine Joy Patag

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