A fraternity from the Ateneo de Manila University has condemned the killing of a human rights lawyer outside his house in South Cotabato on Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Atty. Juan Macababbad, 68, was shot dead by three unidentified gunmen in front of his house in Brgy. Libertad, Surallah, South Cotabato. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead in the hospital.
In a statement, the Fraternal Order of Utopia demanded justice for Macababbad, who was part of its Batch 1974.
"We demand that a thorough investigation be conducted of this heinous crime, and that justice prevail for our Bod and his bereaved family," the statement read.
The group said Macababbad "embodied the Utopian values of Service, Sacrifice, and Excellence."
"As a human rights lawyer and a defender of the poor, his murder, in the context of the alarming spate of killings of lawyers in the country, is an affront to social justice and the rule of law."
Macababbad served as the vice-chair of the Union of Peoples' Lawyers (UPLM) in Mindanao and was active in people's lawyering where he handled criminal and civil cases of the poor for free.
He represented farmers, fisherfolk, informal settlers, and victims of extra-judicial killings.
Based on UPLM's count, Macababbad was the 58th lawyer and third National Union of Peoples' Lawyers member killed since President Duterte's election in 2016.