Malacañang assures probe of Nueva Ecija lawyer’s murder, other killings
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has assured the public that law enforcement agencies will investigate the murder of a lawyer in Talavera, Nueva Ecija and other attacks on lawyers.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo claimed on Sunday that these acts of violence are not being tolerated by the state.
Panelo’s statement came after 73-year-old Nueva Ecija lawyer Bayani Dalangin was shot in front of his clients last Thursday.
“Any act of violence, we condemn it. We will not tolerate any act of violence against any person. And for that matter, lahat ng nandito sa ating bansa whether kababayan natin o hindi. Hindi pwede kay Presidente ‘yon,” he said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.
(And for that matter, that includes everybody in the Philippines, whether they are Filipinos or not. The President does not approve of that.)
“Kaya yung nangyaring pagpaslang doon sa abogado, automatically papa-imbestigahan ‘yan, iniimbestigahan. We will not stop unless we pinpoint ‘yong the perpetrators ng crime na ‘yan,” he added.
(That’s why the killing of the lawyer would automatically be investigated. We will not stop unless we pinpoint the perpetrators of that crime.)
Dalangin’s death came days after President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration was criticized by human rights organizations for allowing a culture of impunity to exist. They were referring to the killing of Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) suspended legal division chief and lawyer Frederic Anthony Santos.
Santos, who was involved in the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) mess, was shot dead on his way to pick up his daughter.
The GCTA mess involved heinous crimes convicts allegedly bribing BuCor officials to place good records for convicts while inside jail so that they could be released earlier than their prison terms.
Earlier, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) asked the government to probe and solve the cases, especially since the attacks on people in the legal profession are mounting.
According to several lawyer and human rights groups, there were 41 lawyers killed from 2001. But just since 2016, when President Rodrigo Duterte, a lawyer himself, stepped into office, there have been 47 lawyers murdered.
Before Dalangin and Santos, other lawyers handling controversial cases were also silenced, including National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) founding member Benjamin Ramos. Ramos used to lawyer for the families of nine slain sugarcane farmers in Sagay, Negros Occidental.
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