De Lima: Ilocos judge’s slay a ‘vicious assault on judicial sector’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima condemned on Thursday the killing of Ilocos Sur Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 25 Judge Mario Anacleto Bañez.
She said the incident was “a vicious assault on the judicial sector.”
In a dispatch from Camp Crame, De Lima said that the killing of Bañez should prompt the Senate to immediately investigate the continuing attacks on lawyers, prosecutors and judges.
“This recent attack is yet again the handiwork of the culture of death propagated no less by President Duterte,” she said.
She said that as the sixth judge and 43rd person of the law to be killed under the current administration, Bañez’ death was a vicious assault on the judicial sector.
“The continuing attacks must be stopped,” she further said.
De Lima said that “despite their sector being a bastion of the rule of law” it seems like “there is no safe place for the workers in the judiciary.”
“One death is simply too many. 43 law professionals killed under this administration reflects the reality that not even justice workers are safe in this country,” she said.
In October, De Lima filed Senate Resolution No. 170 seeking an inquiry into the continuing attacks and killings of lawyers, prosecutors and judges.
“This recent death makes this inquiry an urgent concern that the Senate must look into now,” the senator went on.
“With the rising death toll of lawyers, prosecutors and judges, we must ask: who will be the resort of the oppressed, when members of the legal community are being killed?” she added.
De Lima also mentioned a measure she earlier proposed that seeks to grant hazard pay for judiciary workers, particularly those handling criminal cases.
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