Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Tuesday afternoon, July 20, said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will provide assistance if needed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in its probe on the killing of a lawyer and her husband last July 14 in Davao City.
Killed infront of their house in a gated subdivision in Davao City were lawyer Gilda Mahinay Sapie and her husband Muhaimen Mohammed Sapie.
Guevarra said that “if there is semblance of political color to the killing or connection with any kind of advocacy, we will get the AO 35 mechanism moving.”
The Department of Justice (DOJ) leads the AO 35 Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right of Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.
Among other cases, the AO35 inter-agency committee is now investigating the deaths of nine persons and the arrest of six others when the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conducted joint operations in serving search warrants against persons with suspected links to the communist terrorist groups in Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Batangas provinces last March 7.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) had announced its own probe on the killings of the Sapie couple.
The couple, who were hosts of the radio program “Justice Redeemer,” were shot reportedly by a sniper.
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.
Several lawyer organizations, led by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), and advocacy groups have denounced the killing of the couple.