Senators from different parties on Wednesday filed a resolution condemning the killings and violence against judges and lawyers in the Philippines.
According to Senate Resolution 691, the senators also urged President Rodrigo Duterte to take measures to ensure the safety and protection of those in the legal profession.
Among the authors of the resolution are Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, Leila De Lima, Richard Gordon, Francis Pangilinan, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, and Francis Tolentino.
“Our lawyers play a crucial role in the administration of justice in the country, especially in representing the most marginalized members of the community,” the senators said in the resolution.
Also, the senators said, “The brazen acts of violence against lawyers send a chilling message to the members of the bench and the bar who, in the performance of their responsibilities to the society as administrators of justice, should be able to exercise their sworn duties and represent their clients or dispense justice without threats, persecution and fear for their safety and their lives.”
Resolution condemning violence against lawyers, judges filed in Senate
Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka read a statement saying the high court justices would not tolerate acts that “perverse justice, defeat the rule of law, undermine the most basic of constitutional principles, and speculate on the worth of human lives.”
“To threaten our judges and our lawyers is no less than an assault on the Judiciary. To assault the judiciary is to shake the very bedrock on which the rule of law stands. This cannot be allowed in a civilized society like ours,” the Supreme Court said.
“In this light, the Court condemns, in the strongest sense, every instance where a lawyer is threatened or killed and where a judge is threatened and unfairly labeled,” it added.
Meanwhile, the Free Legal Assistance Group said that 100 lawyers have been killed in the past 20 years, they added.
“The continuing flagrant and horrific attacks on the lawyers, prosecutors, and judges and the failure to condemn, investigate, and prosecute these acts of violence and bring the perpetrators to justice is an act of injustice in itself and erode the public’s trust and confidence in our justice system,” the resolution read.