The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been asked to help the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) enhance the safety and security of the country’s lawyers.
“In aid of the IBP’s Lawyer Security Program, the AFP promised to assign a member to the IBP’s lawyer security panel and to conduct marksmanship training for lawyers,” IBP President Burt M. Estrada said in a statement.
“The AFP likewise agreed to hold a fellowship activity between IBP chapters and their members assigned in their areas,” Estrada said.
A meeting was held last Monday, Sept. 20, between IBP officials led by Estrada and the AFP led by Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Erickson R. Gloria.
During the meeting, Estrada said there were discussions “on revising existing agreements with the IBP to include providing legal offensive and defensive remedies and to extend legal services and legal aid, even to retired members of the AFP.”
The IBP had expressed its dismay over the continued killings of lawyers in the country following the murder of lawyer Juan Macabadbad, the vice chairman of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) who was gunned down in front of his residence in Surallah, South Cotabato last Sept. 15.
“The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) calls for a nationwide effort to protect our lawyers and judges,” Estrada said.
Estrada pointed out that the country’s lawyers are “mandated to strive for justice, and they must be able to do so without fear of reprisal or violence.”