Senator Imee R. Marcos has called for an investigation into the alarming deaths and disappearances of members of the legal community.
Marcos said that “in recent months, the entire legal community has been shocked by the successive assaults committed against members of the bar, leading to serious harm, disappearances, and, for some, their untimely death”.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 593, Marcos cited five deaths and two disappearances this year, which she said caused grave concern that must be taken up by the proper Senate committee. Last January 9, former Batangas representative and lawyer Edgar Mendoza, together with his driver and bodyguard, were found lifeless in a burned vehicle in Tiaong, Quezon.
A money dispute between Mendoza and his client Sherwin Punzalan was allegedly the motive behind the gruesome crime.
The deaths of Camarines Sur Regional Trial Court Judge Jeaneth Gaminde – San Joaquin, Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Maria Teresa Abadilla, Atty. Eric Jay Magcamit, and Atty. Joey Luis Wee also shocked not only the legal community but the whole country.
Former Court of Appeals Judge Normandie Pizarro and more recently Atty. Ryan Oliva have been reported missing with no leads of their whereabouts as of press time.
“The entire legal community, in various fora, have expressed their dismay, condemnation, and fear for these rampant and vicious attacks against members of the bar and other court officers who seem to escape with impunity,” Marcos said.
She added that “while these are independent cases, there is a need to look at the common threads that make one interconnected with the others, as these involve individuals who are tasked with the administration of justice and in upholding the rule of law”.
“Let us not wait for another crime committed against the respected members of the legal community before we take action on these unfortunate events,” Marcos stressed.