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On killing good lawyers

READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - April 12, 2021 - 12:00am

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” a famous line from Shakespeare’s play “Henry VI” Part II, Scene II, Line 73. It was stated by Dick the Butcher a follower of the rebel Jack Cade, who believed that if he agitated law and order, he could become king.

In recent times the ‘lawyers joke’ has become a serious reality. Today the practice of law is under a series of threats. How sad that several good lawyers got killed. How unfortunate that the professionals upholding the law and representing clients in court on legal matters have become a vicious target of assassinations.

According to Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) from July 2016 to February 2020 attorneys, prosecutors, and judges were violently attacked in the Philippines. The attacks resulted in 55 deaths, making an average of 1.25 killings of attorneys, prosecutors, and judges per month.

This shocking and audacious attack highlights the grave danger of lawyers and prosecutors face every day in the performance of their duties. Murdering lawyers has been a worldwide issue particularly those involved in defending human rights.

In the Philippines, lawyers handling several high-profile cases involving drugs and grand corruption are the prime targets and victims. The usual suspects vary from gun-for-hire individual, “vigilante groups” to “rogue cops”. Many of these cases remained unsolved and are in achieves of cold cases collecting dust and cobwebs. It is so ironic that the people who advocate justice couldn’t get justice for themselves in the end.

I remember in Law school the reasons why freshmen study Law. Many wanted to become corporate lawyers because it is where the money is. Others with an adventurous spirit wanted to join the bureau as an agent because it is where the action is, while very few want to become defense lawyers or prosecutors because it is where all death threats are eaten like breakfast.

Police authorities must leave no stone unturned in their investigation to find the real culprit and the mastermind of the crime to give justice to the family of the victims.

In Shakespeare's days, lawyers were less popular and hated by rebels because they protected the interest of the rich merchants and landlords. However, Shakespeare meant ‘not to kill all corrupt, unethical lawyers but as a compliment to lawyers and judges who administer justice in society.’

Renester P. Suralta

Pardo

Cebu City

* * *

Think globally, act locally

Most of us are not in a position to make the entire world better. But we can always help locally.

Part of what we can do is set a good example for others about things such as positive attitudes, good self-care, and recycling. People that value the wellness of the earth usually value wellness of each of us as a person.

Apparently there's no way of recycling straws --so it's best at this time just not to use them. It's also pretty easy to bring your own bags when you go shopping and refuse the cellophane bags.

If you see somebody drop trash on the ground, pick it up and make sure they see you. Tell them we have a beautiful country and you want to keep it beautiful for our grandchildren!

And remember; don't burn plastic. Don't throw it in the river and don't bury it!

Let your civic leaders know that reusing, repairing, and recycling are important to you (sometimes we can reuse something in a different way rather than throw it away. Waste plastic is being made into art and even to build houses).

The Philippines is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We show our pride by keeping it clean.

Richard Baker

An American citizen retired in the Philippines

LAW
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