IBP calls for speedy probe on Negros lawyer’s murder, arrest of killers
MANILA, Philippines — The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has demanded a swift investigation into the murder of human rights lawyer Anthony Trinidad as well as the arrest of his killers.
Trinidad instantly died while his wife was wounded from an ambush last July 23 in Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.
In a statement Monday, IBP through its National President Domingo Egon Cayosa said law enforcement agencies should intensify their efforts to find and arrest the killers of Trinidad whom it described as a “good and selfless lawyer” who chose to forego a lucrative career in Manila and Dumaguete City to settle in his hometown of Guihulngan.
“For if lawyers who are the sentinels of the rule of law and who serve the poor are themselves assassinated with impunity, no one would be safe and no one would expect justice in our country,” Cayosa said.
Since 2016, excluding judges and prosecutors, a total of 25 lawyers have already been killed, including Trinidad and another human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos, who was slain in November 2018.
This number is deemed higher compared to the 27 lawyers killed in a span of eight years – from 2006 to 2014, based on the data of international organization Lawyers for Lawyers.
“Unsolved slayings mock the order of no less than the President of the Republic to determine the perpetrators and to prosecute these killers and ensure that they will face the appropriate punishment for such criminal act,” noted Cayosa.
IBP said they are now working to provide benefits to Trinidad’s family, in recognition of his exemplary service and sacrifice in the interest of public lawyering.
At the same time, the group said the killing would not intimidate them from dispensing their mandate adding that violence against fellow lawyers only inspire them to persistently work for peace through justice. /kga
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