THE PHILIPPINES’ official organization of lawyers has condemned an armed attack on its chapter president in Abra, calling it another indication of the culture of impunity against legal professionals in the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) urged law enforcement agencies to probe the incident in the northern province along with similar attacks against those in the legal profession.
“Lawyers must be able to advocate their clients’ causes free from the corrupting elements of fear and intimidation,” it said.
“Violence directed toward the members of our justice system must never be tolerated.
Two unidentified men entered Hamilcar P. Bigornia’s law office on Sunday morning and stabbed him and his aide, while another aide was shot to death. The IBP said Mr. Bigornia had narrowly escaped death.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla has said the government does not sanction attacks, harassment or intimidation of human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists.
Human Rights Watch said last month that drug war killings were still common and impunity for human rights violations continue under the Marcos administration — John Victor D. Ordoñez