HRW: Lawyer’s murder a ‘blow’ to rights movement in PH
The murder of lawyer Benjamin Ramos was a “blow to the human-rights movement” in the Philippines, the country-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Wednesday.
The human rights organization said the killing of 56-year-old Ramos, secretary-general of the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL) in Negros Occidental province, was also a “further indictment of the impunity that has worsened” under the Duterte administration.
“His murder is a further indictment of the impunity that has worsened under the administration of President Duterte. It is a blow to the human-rights movement in the country,” the group said in a statement.
The HRW also demanded an impartial investigation into Ramos’ murder and the many other attacks against lawyers in the Philippines.
Ramos was a human-rights defender who took on pro bono cases representing some of the most marginalized sectors in the Philippines.
He was shot dead in Kabankalan City Negros Occidental on Tuesday night by motorcycle-riding men while taking a break after he had just finished a legal paper for one of his many pro bono clients, the NUPL said.
The NUPL also noted that Ramos was the 34th lawyer killed under the two-year administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Excluding judges and prosecutors, he is the 24th member of the profession killed and the 8th in the Visayas, it added. /kga
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