‘Unfortunate’ many lawyers had to die before SC condemned attacks — De Lima
MANILA, Philippines — “It is unfortunate that so many lawyers had to die” before the Supreme Court moved to condemn recent attacks against members of the legal profession, opposition Senator Leila de Lima lamented.
De Lima was reacting to the Supreme Court’s statement slamming the killings and threats against judges and lawyers.
The High Court said such acts are tantamount to an “assault” on the judiciary, which is the “very bedrock on which the rule of law stands.”
“It is unfortunate that so many lawyers had to die before the Supreme Court acted. The question is, will [President Rodrigo] Duterte listen or will he continue to instruct our police to ignore human rights,” the detained senator, one of Duterte’s staunchest critics, said in a statement Wednesday.
“In the first place, it is the Supreme Court itself who said that he is immune from suit, and that anyone he attacks is without recourse in law. Duterte is a monster that SC helped create,” she added.
De Lima, along with seven of her fellow lawyer-senators, filed a Senate resolution that “strongly condemned” the violence against and killings of lawyers and judges in the country.
The resolution also urged the President to undertake “necessary measures” to ensure the protection of members of the legal profession.
The senators, in their resolution, cited data from the Department of Justice, which showed that 54 members of the legal profession have been killed since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Only five cases have reached the courts,” the resolution noted. The Free Legal Assistance Group, meanwhile, reported that 100 lawyers have been killed in the last 20 years, the senators added.
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