NUPL condemns killing of Bacolod lawyer handling drug cases | Inquirer News

NUPL condemns killing of Bacolod lawyer handling drug cases

/ 05:33 PM August 24, 2018

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A group of lawyers on Friday condemned the killing of an attorney who was known for handling cases of illegal drug suspects in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Lawyer Rafael Atotubo, 62, was shot dead by still unidentified assailants on board a motorcycle. The victim was in front of his rented house in Barangay 23 when the shooting happened at around 11:30 a.m.

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“NUPL (National Union of People’s Lawyers) strongly condemns the continuing attacks on lawyers with the atrocious killing of Atty. Rafael Atotubo in Bacolod by unidentified assailants riding in tandem,” the group said in a statement.

READ: Lawyer handling drug cases slain in Bacolod City ambush

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“While Atty. Atotubo has represented many illegal drugs suspects in court, this cannot in any way justify his killing,” said NUPL, chaired by former Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares.

According to the group, the killing of Atotubo in broad daylight is “strikingly similar to the modus operandi of the continuing extrajudicial killings all over the country.”

“This shows that the killers were never afraid of being accosted by the police, which only strengthens the theory that the police is involved in the killings,” it said.

“The fact that President [Rodrigo] Duterte previously threatened lawyers who represent drug suspects only adds more to the belief that the killings are state-sponsored or condoned,” it added.

But Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, Director of the Philippine National Police –Region 8, told INQUIRER.net in a text message that the incident is not a case of extrajudicial killing (EJK).

“EJK is a political tool that has long been used to discredit the government but remained unproven even after the Senate conducted its investigation,” he said.

He then urged the NUPL to “exercise professionalism rather than sow doubts based on unsubstantiated theories.”

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Bulalacao said the police are already investigating the incident, and assured the public that authorities will not stop until justice is served in the case.

The NUPL nevertheless demanded the President to publicly denounce the killing and commit that its mastermind be sanctioned by the law. /jpv

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TAGS: Bacolod City, Crime, Local news, Murder, National Union of People’s Lawyers, Philippine news update
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