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Palawan lawyer killed on his way to hearing
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Palawan lawyer killed on his way to hearing

Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - November 17, 2020 - 12:25pm

MANILA, Philippines (Update 2: 5:25 p.m.)  — A young lawyer on his way to a hearing early Tuesday morning was killed by unidentified gunmen in Palawan in broad daylight.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Palawan Chapter in a statement confirmed that lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit, 35, was killed on Tuesday morning. He was shot dead in broad daylight while he was on his way to a hearing in Quezon, Palawan.

A police spot report said the incident happened at around 6:55 a.m., in Narra, Palawan. Two suspects flagged down Magcamit and shot him twice when he alighted from his vehicle.

The IBP chapter condemned the lawyer’s killing which they said “happened in these most trying times we are facing.”

More than 50 lawyers in the country have been killed since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. In 2020 alone, at least seven lawyers have been killed. Manila court judge Maria Teresa Abadilla was shot to death by her clerk of court inside her chamber.

Police is currently looking into the incident while Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra order the National Bureau of Investigation be on stand by and render assistance if needed.

‘An attack on the legal order and justice system’

IBP Palawan slammed the killing as an “attack on the legal order and justice system by means of fear and violence.”

Citing Magcamit’s “great contribution” to the IBP and to society, the IBP chapter said “his senseless death is a great loss to the community he had perseveringly served since his admission to the bar, and most especially to us, his brethren in the legal profession.”

“His dedication and commitment to uphold the ends of justice has illumined until his last breath. We deeply mourn for the loss of a brother,” it added.

According to the TMG Law Palawan website, Magcamit obtained his law degree from Palawan State University in 2009 and was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2010.

He worked in the provincial legal office of the Province of Palawan and as legal researcher of former Rep. Abraham Kahlil Mitra’s office. Magcamit was also teaching at the College of Business and Accountancy of Palawan State University.

The law firm said Magcamit practiced in civil and criminal litigation, dispute resolution, election laws, labor relations, immigration, real estate transactions, succession and family relations.

NUPL: Too many deaths in legal profession, we can’t get justice ourselves

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers president Edre Olalia in a separate statement said that regardless of the proximate cause of the killing of Abadilla and Magcamit, investigators must determine the real motive and whole circumstances of the two cases.

“We are distressed once more by these violent deaths that befell our colleagues in our profession,” he said.

“Coming at the heels of brazen murders in emergency rooms and in public roads, is ours really one of the safest countries in the world? Which place remains safe now?” Olalia continued.

The rights lawyer was referring to the killing of Vicente Adia, in a hospital in Angono, Rizal, while he was undergoing treatment after surviving an earlier attack.

Olalia said there have been just too many deaths among the legal profession and they cannot even get justice.

“By any measure, the buck ultimately stops with the government especially one that has cultivated 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 added.

ATTACK ON LAWYERS INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES PALAWAN
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