Supreme Court, Senate condemn killings of lawyers

Following the Supreme Court’s condemnation of the killings of the lawyers, the Senate passed a resolution to ask President Rodrigo Duterte to also act to prevent the killings.

The resolution was filed by 8 senator lawyers.

“Resolved, further, to urge the president to undertake the necessary in ensuring the safety of the members of the legal profession by laying out definitive solutions and actions to address such rampant violence and killings, including the prompt, impartial and efficient investigation and prosecution of the cases,” said Senate Resolution No. 691.

According to official data from the Department of Justice, 54 lawyers have been killed under the Duterte administration, but only 5 cases have yet to reach court.

“The failure to condemn, investigate and prosecute these, and bring perpetrators to justice is an act of injustice in itself. We therefore condemn in the strongest sense, these killings of and acts of violence, against members of the bar and bench. To not act or speak is an act of injustice in itself,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Franklin Drilon.

Earlier, the Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an extraordinary statement also condemning the killings.

Supreme Court, Senate condemn killings of lawyers

“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… 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. This cannot go undenounced on the court’s watch,” said the magistrates in a statement by SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka.

According to the Supreme Court statement, among the things they will do is propose that the police use body cameras in filing search and arrest warrants.

They will also review the rule on writ of amparo and habeas data that can be used to seek relief from the SC when there is a threat to life, liberty, and security.

Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio hailed the court’s move.