Sen. Imee Marcos is seeking a legislative inquiry into the “alarming rate” of killings and disappearances of judges, lawyers, and other court officers in the Philippines.
Marcos filed Senate Resolution No. 593 as she raised concern over the successive crimes committed against members of the legal community in recent months, “thereby instilling fear…and undermining the effective administration of justice in the country.”
In calling for a Senate probe, she cited the deaths of former Batangas Rep. and lawyer Edgar Mendoza who was burned along with his driver and bodyguard inside his car in Tiaong, Quezon last January; of Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla, who was shot by her clerk of court in her office at the Manila City Hall last Nov. 11; of Atty. Eric Jay Magcamit, who was killed in broad daylight in Palawan last Nov. 17 by suspects including a police officer; and of Atty. Joey Luis Wee who was gunned down by unidentified men in Cebu City last Nov. 23.
Marcos also cited the ambush of Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court Judge Jeaneth Gaminde-San Joaquin and her aide while on their way to Naga City in October. The two were wounded in the attack.
She likewise recalled the disappearances of former Court of Appeals Judge Normandie Pizarro and Atty. Ryan Oliva.
“The entire legal community, in various fora, have expressed their dismay, condemnation, and fear for these rampant and vicious attacks against members of the bar and other court officers who seem to escape with impunity,” Marcos said in the resolution.
“While these are independent cases, there is a need to look at the common threads that make one interconnected with the others, as these involve individuals who are tasked with the administration of justice and in upholding the rule of law,” she pointed out.
She also appealed: “Let us not wait for another crime committed against the respected members of the legal community before we take action on these unfortunate events.”
The resolution has been referred to the Senate Committees on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Sen. Ronald dela Rosa; and Justice and Human Rights, headed by Sen. Richard Gordon.