HERE WE go again.
The killings of human rights defenders, activists and now doctors and lawyers have been too many and too frequent it seems to condition people that it is commonplace.
Yet every single life snuffed out just like that shocks our senses and jolts both the jaded and bright-eyedalike in our ranks. It should not be commonplace and cavalierly dismissed as “part of the risks.”
Many have grown weary of just coming out with the rightful yet formulaic condemnation. But we should not tire of doing so. Yet it is not enough.
Lawyers who studied and chose a profession to help bring justice are being executed with their court attires on.
There needs to be decisive action. We need to close ranks and push back.
The duty to protect lawyers is not incumbent on our judiciary alone but even more mandatory and obligatory on the executive branch with its police, intelligence, investigative and prosecutory arms and vast powers.
But ultimately the bloody trail leads up to the desks of the top goaders and enablers in high places that have cultivated a climate of violence, impunity, inanity, barbarity and contempt for due process and a penchant for legal shortcuts.
When the first thing they do is kill the lawyers, then who will believe that any one can get justice themselves?
Are we that helpless and our government so useless? Nobody seems to be safe anymore anywhere. Not in a judge’s chambers, not in your car while driving to court or on the way home, not in your law office.
Enough of task forces of different shapes and sizes. It is a worn-out default mode.
We want not to live in unease and trepidation while we do our work.
We want to rest our cases and not rest in peace.
(Statement of the National Union of People’s Lawyers on yet another killing of a lawyer – Atty. Baby Maria Concepcion Landero-Ole, Dec. 18, 2020)