The Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) has asked the government to conduct a swift investigation and prosecution of those behind the killing of its vice chairman Juan Macabadbad last Sept. 15.
With Macabadbad’s killing, “the Duterte administration added to its legacy the 58th lawyer and the third National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) member killed during his murderous regime,” UPLM Chairman Antonio C. Azarcon said in a statement.
“The culture of impunity pervades with the lack of serious investigation and prosecution over thousands of extra-judicial killings in the country,” Azarcon said.
He pointed out that if those in government continue to fail to stop the continued killings of lawyers, “then they should give way to those who have the moral ascendancy to bring back peace and justice to our country.”
Macabadbad was killed by two gunmen in front of his residence in Surallah, South Cotabato.
“We offer our sympathies and prayers to the bereaved family as we call on the government authorities to do their job in resolving the crime,” Azarcon said.
“We also call upon the international community to denounce this and many other attacks,” he added.
“While the case may go through the usual investigation, as with the other growing number of unresolved cases, it is clear that the murder of Atty. Macababbad is connected to his vocation of lawyering for the people,” Azarcon pointed out.
“Atty. Macababbad has been receiving death threats before his murder,” he noted.
“The legal profession is not spared, and our colleagues have become main targets especially those who resist tyranny and defend human rights,” he added.