IBP denounces Cebu shooting; forms 'Justice League'
MANILA - The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) condemned the incident in Cebu where a Canadian killed two people right inside the Palace of Justice on Wednesday.
“We condemn the violence that has cost the precious lives of our fellow lawyer Atty. Jovan Anchas and his client Dr. Rene Rafols and the wounding of Prosecutor Ma. Theresa Casiño,” said IBP National President Roan Libarios.
Libarios called for a “quick and rigorous investigation” into the incident.
“It is ironic that the violence happened within the premises of the Hall of Justice, where the rule of law should and must reign supreme at all times. The initial report points to a breakdown in security within the court venue itself,” he said.
He noted all “individuals who are party to this incident must be brought to the bar of justice.”
The IBP is also leading in the protection of stakeholders via the formation of a multi-agency “Justice League.”
The task force will be composed of the IBP, Department of Justice, Department of Interior & Local Government, National Bureau of Investigation, Commission on Human Rights, and the Philippine National Police.
The Memorandum of Understanding forming the Task Force is expected to be signed early this year.
The Task Force aims to “prevent and speedily investigate, prosecute and monitor cases being investigated, as well as those already filed, covering violence directed against lawyers, prosecutors and judges in the performance of their duties. Violent acts include threats, intimidation and physical harm.”
IBP cited several incidents in the past, including the case of Leonardo Jacinto, who was killed on May 10, 2012. Two days after the killing of Jacinto, NBI agent Atty. Leandro Yanguas was gunned down as he was leaving his home in Antipolo City.
Violence against lawyers were also reported in Visayas and Mindanao, including the wounding of Public Attorney Antonio Alcantara in Sibalom, Antique.
Four strafing incidents were also reported in Zamboanga del Norte, targeting human rights and anti-corruption advocates Michael Alan Ranillo, Cres Palpagan Jr., Anecito Young, and IBP Zamboanga del Norte President Michael J. Ajoc, who handles sensitive cases involving a high-ranking police officer.