Lawyer’s killing in S. Cotabato another attack on jurists resisting ‘tyranny’ – NUPL
MANILA, Philippines — The killing of lawyer Juan Macababbad in South Cotabato on Wednesday is another attack on legal professionals “resisting tyranny,” the National Union of People’s Lawyers said in a statement issued after the incident.
Macababbad was killed by unidentified assailants right in front of his house in Barangay Poblacion, Surallah town, South Cotabato.
According to the NUPL, Macababbad, who was the vice chairman of the NUPL in Mindanao, had been getting death threats before being shot.
“While the case may go through the usual investigation, as with the other growing number of unresolved cases, it is clear that the murder of Atty. Macababbad is connected to his vocation of lawyering for the people. Atty. Macababbad has been receiving death threats before his murder,” the NUPL said in a statement.
“The culture of impunity pervades with the lack of serious investigation and prosecution over thousands of extrajudicial killings in the country. The legal profession is not spared, and our colleagues have become main targets especially those who resist tyranny and defend human rights,” it added.
The NUPL called upon the international community to denounce the attacks against Filipino lawyers as it “hampers the practice of the legal profession and makes a mockery of the Justice System and the Rule of Law.”
Last Aug. 26, another veteran lawyer, Rex Jose Mario Fernandez, was shot dead by a still unidentified assailant shot on Duterte Street in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City.
READ: Cebu lawyer shot dead
“If they cannot stop the killings, then they should give way to those who have the moral ascendancy to bring back peace and justice to our country,” the NUPL said.
Meanwhile, according to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the number of lawyers killed has risen by 500 percent since President Rodrigo Duterte came into power in 2016.
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