CHR starts own probe on killing of lawyer, husband in Davao City

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has started its own probe on the killing of lawyer Gilda Mahinay Sapie and her husband Muhaimen Mohammed Sapie last July 14 in Davao City.

The couple, who were hosts of the radio program "Justice Redeemer," were shot reportedly by a sniper while they were outside of their house inside a gated subdivision.

"Justice Provider" provides free legal advice, tackles general legal issues, and airs opinions on political matters.

In a statement, the CHR said it has long pushed for the protection of members of the media and lawyers who deserve to exercise their profession without any fear of violence, intimidation, and harassment.

Sadly, the Philippines has dropped its rank in the World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) for four consecutive years, the CHR said.

"This drop in ranking coincides with the recent results released by the Social Weather Stations survey which finds six in ten Filipinos agree that it is 'dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical' of the current administration 'even if it is the truth,'" the CHR said through Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia, a lawyer.

Published reports stated that the closed-circuit television (CCTV) video taken outside of their house showed the couple talking to visitors. Suddenly, Gilda dropped to her knees. Her husband was also shot when he tried to help her.

"CHR denounces the latest violence against media personalities and an agent of law," De Guia said.

"We call for swift investigation from the Davao police and other related authorities for the just resolution of this case. Likewise, we continue to urge the government for concrete protection and preventive mechanism to ensure reduction of violence on the ground and to enable those in the media and legal profession to do their job without fear of reprisal and retribution," she said.