PNP, IBP ink pact on lawyers’ protection
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - March 3, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) have signed an agreement to protect lawyers who are under threat.

The agreement was signed by IBP president Domingo Cayosa and PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa at Camp Crame yesterday.

Under the accord, the PNP will help lawyers enhance their skills and knowledge in protecting themselves through proper use  of firearms.

The agreement came two days after the murder of a 73-year-old lawyer in Talavera, Nueva Ecija. 

Bayani Dalangin, a former Public Attorney’s Office lawyer, was gunned down while attending to his clients in his office in Barangay Poblacion. 

Meanwhile, Cayosa said the IBP will put up a P25-million fund to assist witnesses in cases committed against lawyers. 

The Lawyers’ Security and Justice Fund will reward and support crucial witnesses for the prosecution of the murderers of lawyers, according to Cayosa.

“The IBP goes beyond condemning attacks against its members. Families of slain lawyers regardless of their status or stature can avail themselves of IBP’s free legal aid. We personally and directly comfort the bereaved families,” he said. 

Aside from the PNP, the IBP is also coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and National Bureau of Investigation to ensure the protection of lawyers. 

“His  death dramatizes the risks that workers in the justice sector face and the tragic trend of violence and impunity in our country,” Cayosa said, referring to Dalangin. 

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said he would  order the Task Force on Extrajudicial Killings to look into Dalangin’s murder for any indication that the incident was related to the lawyer’s work and advocacies. 

Dalangin is the 48th lawyer killed since 2016.  – With Evelyn Macairan

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