Detained Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday renewed her call for law enforcement authorities to put an end to the lawless killings happening in the country, noting how many members of the legal profession are also getting killed in the process.
De Lima, herself a lawyer, said there are already 53 judges, lawyers and prosecutors who were killed under the Duterte administration, the recent being lawyer Joey Luis Wee who was shot to death by still unidentified gunmen in Cebu City.
“When lawyers and judges are killed in their very offices and their own chambers, the sentinel of the rule of law to whom those whose rights and freedoms are transgressed run to, how do we assure the public that they are safe?” De Lima pointed out.
“Ito na ang estado ng kaligtasan sa ating bansa ngayon—tila isang madilim na kabanata na walang wakas. Hindi mo masisisi ang mga tao kung nababalot na sila ng pangamba (This is the state of security here in our country now—it seems like a dark chapter that has no end. You can’t blame the people if they are afraid),” the senator pointed out.
De Lima said those tasked with the enforcement of the law “should set their priorities straight.”
“Enough with your obsession with red-tagging individuals who are only exercising their right to speak in a democracy,” she said.
The detained senator noted that Wee’s death happened just six weeks after another lawyer was also shot to death in the same city, and almost a week after a young lawyer was murdered in the province of Palawan.
“The death of Atty. Joey Luis Wee is another horrendous reality check on the state of the rule of law in our country,” she said.
“We not only condemn the killings, we demand accountability. Swift justice and accountability,” the senator reiterated.