The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Sunday condemned the attempt on the life of a lawyer in Cotabato City, and requested the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to provide protection.
The IBP, in a statement, said lawyers like Atty. Ronald Torres — who was on his way home when he and his driver were shot by unidentified gunmen — are given the “difficult task of striving for justice.”
“Apart from instilling fear and restlessness in the hearts and minds of his family, such an occurrence plainly subverts the administration of justice, which is one of the hallmarks of our free and civilized society,” said IBP.
This danger, the IBP said, may “unduly temper his zeal in representing his client to the fullest extent under the law.”
“The IBP thus respectfully calls upon our law enforcement agencies, particularly the PNP and the NBI, to thoroughly investigate the matter, exact accountability, and all the more significantly, elevate state responsibility to guarantee that lawyers can do their job without fear of reprisal or violence.”
“The IBP stands beside Atty. Torres on his quest to bring the perpetrators to justice and in his fidelity to the oath he gave as a member of the bar,” it added.
Torres was on board his bullet-proof vehicle when gunmen opened at him and his driver. Both escaped unharmed.
Torres later said that he had no known enemies and believed the attempt on his life was work-related.