IBP to help lawyers handle stress, improve security
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has vowed to help lawyers improve their “personal security” and cope with stress, following the killing of a judge by a clerk of court who thereafter committed suicide.
“IBP will continue to help lawyers handle stress and improve their personal security,” IBP president Domingo Egon Cayosa said in a statement on Thursday.
“We hope that government and all sectors will cooperate to ensure that differences may be resolved responsibly, quickly and peacefully,” he added.
On Wednesday, Judge Ma. Theresa Abadilla of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 45 was shot in her chamber by clerk of court Amador Rebato Jr., who shot himself afterward.
Abadilla, 44, was rushed to the hospital but declared dead on arrival at Manila Medical Center. The police said in their report that they found the 42-year-old Rebato lying dead in his office.
Rebato had been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the police, citing a staff member of Abadilla’s court .
The IBP expressed its condolences “with the families of … Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla and of … attorney Amador Rebato Jr.”Cayosa also said, “Lawyering is one of the most stressful professions.
This is compounded by the unabated killings of judges, prosecutors and lawyers, the additional risks and burdens brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the creeping culture of violence and impunity in our society.”
In his statement also on Thursday, Sen. Richard Gordon urged Congress to act on his proposed measure seeking to provide security to members of the judiciary.
“This is truly unforgivable,” Gordon said of the shooting. “It has never been and should never be acceptable that we allow our citizens to be killed, especially our judges.”
Gordon’s Senate Bill No. 118 aims to establish the Philippine Marshal Service as an “independent security arm” for the judiciary.
The bill is set to be tackled in the Senate plenary, while also awaiting recommendations from the executive branch.
“We call on the Department of Budget and Management to report on their recommendation so that we can work on the passage of the bill,” Gordon said.
According to the senator, before Abadilla’s death there were 31 judges killed since 1999, supposedly by kidnappers, carjackers, drug pushers and other criminals.
Gordon said “cruelty” against judges must stop.
“Without the judges, there can be no justice,” he said. —WITH A REPORT FROM MELVIN GASCON