Jan 20, 2021 @ 11:47

OCA to submit report on violence against members of the legal community

The Office of the Court Administrator is now preparing a report containing several recommendations to Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta in addressing violence against members of the legal community.

“We are now drafting our report to be submitted to CJ (Chief Justice) who instructed us to meet with all stakeholders and find ways on how this can be addressed,” Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said.

The OCA met on separate occasions government agencies, lawyer’s groups, and other stakeholders to discuss ways and means to end violence against lawyers, prosecutors, and judges.

Recently, lawyers asked the Supreme Court and other branches of government to act on the successive acts of violence against lawyers and judges.

As of this posting, at least 54 lawyers, judges, and prosecutors have already been killed since Rodrigo Duterte became president.

“There have been at least 54 lawyers and judges who have become victims of extrajudicial killings and violent crimes since 2016 and we fear that the state of impunity in the country today will further fuel the spate of killings, not just against members of the legal profession but also ordinary people,” the two-page letter read.

“We ask the government to act and put a stop to this continuing violence,” it added.

Among the signatories were former Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, former SC spokesperson Theodore Te, Atty. Howard Calleja, Far Eastern University Institute of Law Dean Mel Sta. Maria, and former Ateneo Law School dean Antonio La Viña.

The lawyers requested the high court to (1) to ensure a thorough, prompt, impartial, and independent investigation into all the killings of lawyers; (2) to convene a dialogue between the SC, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other relevant state agencies and civil society groups to discuss interventions to ensure the safety and security of lawyers; (3) and to demand accountability and justice for the victims of extra judicial killings and violence against lawyers and judges.”

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