CHR denounces killing of Nueva Ecija-based lawyer Dalangin

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ATTORNEY-JACQUELINE-ANN-DE-GUIA

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Sunday denounced the killing of a lawyer by an unidentified gunman in Talavera Town, Nueva Ecija on Friday night.

Bayani Dalangin, 73, was shot to death in his office by still an unidentified gunman at 7:15 p.m. while he was meeting with a client.

In a statement, CHR chair Jacqueline Ann de Guia said the growing cases of attacks and extrajudicial killings of lawyers need serious attention and concern from the government and the people.

“These grave threats and attacks impair the ability of lawyers and other members of the justice sector to provide effective legal representation and hamper them to freely exercise their profession,” she said.

“Lawyers working on sensitive and high-profile cases face reprisals and are constantly wary of their safety and independence,” she added.

These killings cut the function of rule of law which includes the right of people to remedies and fair trial, De Guia said.

De Guia also urged the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other local law enforcement agencies for a swift and full investigation into the case.

The CHR also appealed to authorities to hold perpetrators accountable, and to prevent the incident from happening again.

De Guia then called on the government to provide adequate protection measures to ensure the safety and physical integrity of lawyers.

The CHR also asked the administration to be mindful of its international treaty obligations and respect and guarantee fundamental freedoms integral to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“We strongly support the immediate passage of Senate Bill 1721 which seeks to protect the safety of members of the legal profession and the justice sector officials by increasing the penalty against crimes committed against them,” De Guia said.

“Lastly, the Commission extends its deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Atty.  Dalangin and commits to conduct an independent investigation of the case,” she also said./Stacy Ang

 

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