Lawyer shot dead in Palawan

Published November 17, 2020, 12:37 PM

by Aaron Recuenco & Jeffrey Damicog

Brig. Gen. Pascual Muñoz, director of the MIMAROPA (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan) regional police, has ordered a thorough investigation into the killing of a lawyer in Palawan on Tuesday.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is also set to investigate the killing of lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

Muñoz said the provincial director of Palawan was already tasked to look at all the possible motives behind the killing of Magcamit who was gunned down while on his way to work along the national highway of Barangay Malinao in Narra town.

Based on the police report, Magcamit was flagged down by two armed men and was forced to get out of his vehicle. He was then repeatedly shot.

“Before the incident, he told his spouse that he was being followed on several occasions by a vehicle. This angle is being pursued by our investigators,” said Muñoz.

“The strongest motive is work related,” he added.

Guevarra said he has been informed by NBI Officer-In-Charge Director Eric Distor that the NBI Puerto Princesa District Office (Puerdo) has been directed to investigate the death of Atty. Eric Jay Magcamit, 35.

The NBI made the move after his order to “alert our NBI field agents to stand by and render assistance to the local police in the investigation, if necessary.”

MIMAROPA regional police spokesperson Lt. Col. Imelda Tolentino said local investigators are making progress in the conduct of the probe.

She said dashcam footage of the two male suspects were already obtained.

“Our investigators are also searching Closed Circuit Television (CCTVs) along the route to and from the crime scene for a clearer image,” said Tolentino. 

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines also condemned the killing of Magcamit.

“It is our consistent stand that violence has no place in this civilized society, especially against those in the legal profession who are courageously helping in the administration of justice. This tragic incident is not only an attack on a member of the IBP but also an attack on the legal order and justice system by means of fear and violence. The perpetrators must be swiftly brought into the hands of the law by those in authority,” the IBP said in a statement.

Magcamit is the 53rd lawyer killed during the administration of President Duterte and the third this month.

Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla of Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 45 was shot and killed last Nov. 11 inside her courtroom at the Manila City Hall by her clerk of court, Atty. Amador Rebato.