Tag Archives: The Philippines

The Philippines: Crackdown Against Critics Intensifies

January 17, 2019

Activists hold a candle light vigil for victims of the extra judicial killings in the drug war of the government in front of a church in Manila on September 16, 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration heightened its repression in 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.

The government’s murderous “war on drugs” expanded to cities outside Manila. Attacks escalated against activists, journalists, and critics of the government. Donor governments should intensify pressure on Duterte to end targeted killings and to drop politically motivated criminal cases.

“President Duterte has used the killing of thousands of largely poor drug suspects as a tool to bolster his popularity,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “He’s also targeting anyone who might undermine that popularity, from outspoken senators to journalists documenting his abuses.”

In the 674-page World Report 2019, its 29thedition, Human Rights Watch reviewed human rights practices in more than 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the populists spreading hatred and intolerance in many countries are spawning a resistance. New alliances of rights-respecting governments, often prompted and joined by civic groups and the public, are raising the cost of autocratic excess. Their successes illustrate the possibility of defending human rights – indeed, the responsibility to do so – even in darker times.

The government vilified activist groups, calling them communists, and terrorists. In March, the foreign affairs secretary accused human rights groups of being “unwitting tools” of drug syndicates. In November, gunmen killed a rights lawyer, Benjamin Ramos, in Negros Occidental. Ramos represented the families of victims of a recent massacre of peasants in the province. There were violent attacks against human rights activists, lawyers, journalists, environmentalists, indigenous group members, peasants, and farmers.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/17/philippines-crackdown-against-critics-intensifies

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/philippines-killing-of-human-rights-lawyer-benjamin-ramos

http://bulatlat.com/main/2018/12/30/resistance-unity-and-hope-a-look-back-at-the-year-2018/

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2019/01/17/rapport-mondial-2019-resistance-aux-attaques-des-autocrates-contre-les-droits (FRANCAIS)

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The Philippines: Mayor faces raps for Batocabe slay

January 4, 2019

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday filed murder and frustrated murder charges against Daraga, Albay Mayor Carlwyn Baldo, who was tagged as the mastermind in the assassination of AKO Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe in December last year.

The Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Batocabe filed double murder and six counts of frustrated murder charges against Baldo and several others before the Albay Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for the death of the lawmaker and his security aide, SPO1 Orlando Diaz

PNP chief Oscar Albayalde identified the other suspects as Henry Yuson alias Romel/Eno, Rolando Arimado alias RR, Emmanuel Rosello alias Boboy, Jaywin Babor alias Jie, Danilo Muella alias Manoy Dan, and Christopher Naval alias Tuping.

Albayalde said Naval, Baldo’s security aide, executed an extrajudicial confession after he surrendered to authorities on Dec. 30, 2018.

He added that Emmanuel Bonita Judavar alias Jude, one of those who planned the assassination, came forward and spilled his knowledge of the plot to police authorities.

Judavar said, he initially joined the planning but he backed out when the plot was about to be carried out.

Based on Naval and Judavar’s accounts, Yuson, a former New People’s Army (NPA) rebel, shot Batocabe. Arimado, a rebel returnee, served as his lookout .

https://www.manilatimes.net/mayor-faces-raps-for-batocabe-slay/491544/

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/01/04/1882180/pnp-daraga-mayor-rodel-batocabe-slay-brains

https://www.rappler.com/video/newscast/220246-thewrap-january-3-2019-evening-edition

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/01/04/1882278/batocabe-slay-suspect-surrenders

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1069073/pnp-daraga-mayor-is-batocabe-slay-mastermind

https://international.la-croix.com/news/filipino-rights-defenders-brace-for-tougher-2019/9155

https://www.manilatimes.net/batocabe-gunman-surrenders/492055/

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/01/05/1882534/rodel-batocabe-gunman-surrenders-says-sorry

https://www.rappler.com/nation/220305-dilg-wants-carlwyn-baldo-suspended-batocabe-murder

https://www.rappler.com/nation/220282-pnp-says-batocabe-killer-former-army-man

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2019/01/04/philippine-mayor-was-behind-congressmans-killing-police-say.html

Iran/The Philippines/Pakistan etc: Jailing Attorneys For Doing Their Jobs

December 31, 2018

In many countries, lawyers, targeted by police and government agents, are jailed and even murdered for doing the same work we do.

Every job involves working with people you like and some you don’t like.

As criminal defense attorneys, not only do we have to deal with snarling judges and smug prosecutors, but also with clients who present a gamut of challenges like anger issues, poor impulse control, volatile personalities, mental illness, poverty, and limited intelligence.  To make matters worse, our job is to help them at their nadir when they face criminal charges and imminent loss of liberty.

Some clients are hostile and untrusting.  Yet even when there’s hostility between the lawyer and his client, that doesn’t mean the lawyer can get off the case.  In one recent example, the New York Appellate Division found that even where the defendant and his attorney were openly hostile, the lawyer could not be relieved because the hostility was “unjustified toward his competent attorney.”  (People v. Ventura, 1st Department)

In other words, no matter how unpleasant a client may be to his lawyer, that lawyer might still have to stay on the case.  I suppose judges think the client is just as likely to treat the next attorney the same way, so rather than forestall the adjudication of the case indefinitely, the attorney assigned keeps the tough defendant.

I’ve rarely had clients so nasty I asked to be relieved.  I think it’s all a matter of approach, but in the couple of times it’s happened, I managed.  After all, tough clients go with the territory. They’re annoying but not fatal.

Lawyers in less democratic parts of the world have it a lot worse.  Their clients can be tough, too, but they have another fear — the government itself.  In many countries, lawyers, targeted by police and government agents, are jailed and even murdered for doing the same work we do.

In Manila, Philippines, last fall, 56-year-old attorney Benjamin Ramos was killed by motorcycle-riding shooters on his way out of the office.  His crime was helping poor people and political prisoners.

https://abovethelaw.com/2018/12/jailing-attorneys-for-doing-their-jobs/

The Philippines: Ambushed Bacolod lawyer denies drug link

December 31, 2018

The Bacolod lawyer who survived an ambush two weeks ago denied allegations that she has links to illegal drugs.

In an exclusive interview with The Manila Times, Erfe del Castillo said she has no drug links as implied by Senior Supt. John Bulalacao, police regional director for Western Visayas, in a television interview last week.

Del Castillo said she is only handling two drug-related cases contrary to Bulalacao’s statement that she is defending drug suspects.

“The ambush is not related to drugs,” she insisted, adding, “they are trying to taint my reputation because the suspects in the incident are members of the Philippine National Police.

“They are trying to impute something negative to my profession and image to show that I am a bad lawyer. I will issue a formal and more detailed position paper on the matter in due time,” del Castillo said.

Del Castillo, 44, and her driver-companion, Efren Palmares were ambushed by unidentified gunmen along the Bacolod-Silay Airport Access Road at about 11 p.m. on December 21.

https://www.manilatimes.net/ambushed-bacolod-lawyer-denies-drug-link/489854/

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1780269

https://opinion.inquirer.net/118531/remembering-rodel

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2018/12/31/1881079/batocabe-laid-rest-today-bicol

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1067941/ejercito-on-batocabe-slay-its-still-a-challenge-to-resolve-political-killings

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1780716?fbclid=IwAR0IT5O364nDMwXOp1Oaa8qa_Rk8HYJyrHxnbNEbMceAL-mGrn66fpGADnU

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The Philippines: Witnesses in Rodel Batocabe slay come forward

December 26, 2018

At least six witnesses have come forward and issued statements on the killing of Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and his bodyguard Senior Police Officer 1 Orlando Diaz.

Newly installed Daraga police chief Supt. Dennis Balla said it is a positive development in their efforts to solve the double murder case.

The Daraga police chief added that they have identified “persons of interest” and others for questioning and background checking. But Balla did not provide names.

“We in the Philippine National Police are glad to tell you that witnesses to the Batocabe and Diaz killings are cooperating with us in our serious efforts to bring the perpetrators to the folds of the law,” Balla told a press conference on Monday afternoon at the office of Daraga Mayor Carlwyn Baldo.

Baldo lamented speculations that he was behind Batocabe’s killing.

“These reports are dragging my name down. I accept (the blame), being the mayor of Daraga where this sad incident happened. What I cannot take are insinuations that I am behind this crime. People who know the background of our family (are aware) that we do not resort to violence to resolve issues,” Baldo said.

The mayor dared his accusers to file charges against him if they have proof of his complicity in the crime.

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/12/26/1879921/witnesses-rodel-batocabe-slay-come-forward

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/12/25/sc-to-adopt-measures-to-safeguard-lawyers-against-criminal-elements/

https://www.manilatimes.net/lawyers-group-asks-sc-to-probe-killings-attacks-on-lawyers/487638/

https://www.panaynews.net/sc-ibp-condemn-killing-of-lawyers/

https://www.manilatimes.net/police-eye-6-suspects-in-batocabe-killing/487538/?fbclid=IwAR2nQDriInJqwfQGBKkB7dWm2XQ9rsFxtr-6bfj8aMAzS_g3RSAhitqlLwg

http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/283830/daraga-mayor-rejects-politics-in-solon-s-slay.html

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1066401/widow-of-batocabe-rules-out-npa-role-in-solons-slay

http://gulftoday.ae/portal/be44d233-62bc-4f9c-89f2-abb84c4343f5.aspx

http://manilastandard.net/opinion/columns/over-sight-by-danilo-suarez/283883/justice-for-rodel.html

https://politics.com.ph/batocabe-effect-bersamin-eyes-scs-own-probe-into-abogados-killings/

https://www.rappler.com/nation/219707-duterte-adds-millions-bounty-rodel-batocabe-killers

The Philippines: Negros lawyer hurt, driver slain in ambush

December 23, 2018

A lawyer was wounded while her driver was killed in an ambush in Talisay, Negros Occidental on Friday night.

Erfe del Castillo, 44, suffered injuries in the arms and head after she was hit by glass shards. She remains confined at the Dr. Pablo Torre Medical Center.

Del Castillo’s driver Efren Palmares died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Initial investigation showed Del Castillo was in a silver Porsche driven by Palmares when they were shot along the Bacolod-Silay Airport access road in Barangay Matab-ang.

Police Officer 3 Edmundo Jomocan said four bullet shells for an M16 rifle and eight for a 9mm pistol were recovered at the scene.

Del Castillo is the third lawyer targeted by unidentified assailants in Negros in the past four months.

Last Aug. 23, Rafael Atutubo was gunned down  in Bacolod City. On Nov. 6, human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos was slain in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.

On Dec. 14, Bacolod Councilor Ricardo Tan and his wife Nita were wounded in a shooting in Barangay Alangilan in this city.

The gun attacks remain unresolved.

https://www.philstar.com/nation/2018/12/23/1879170/negros-lawyer-hurt-driver-slain-ambush

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1065633/lawyer-survives-ambush-cop-driver-killed

https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1779894/Bacolod/Local-News/Lawyer-partner-survive-attack-by-armed-men-in-Talisay

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1065361/bacolod-lawyer-companion-ambushed-in-negros-occidental

https://www.manilatimes.net/bacolod-lawyer-survives-ambush-driver-killed/486550/

https://businessmirror.com.ph/ibp-urges-sc-to-ensure-protection-of-lawyers/

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/12/25/1879743/lawmakers-death-used-mileage?fbclid=IwAR3bIAiPjK4sUhgDEZ5W3gTY7AB1CKGUX9Q9D8s0clV6jTrhHWt2i4fwD0M

https://www.abante.com.ph/abogado-ng-mister-ni-kate-brios-tinambangan-1-patay.htm (TAGALOG)

https://philippinenmagazin.de/2018/12/23/anwaeltin-ueberlebt-verletzt-hinterhalt-in-negros-begleiter-getoetet/ (DEUTSCH)

N.B.: This is another murderous attack on a lawyer in the Philippines.  That makes 47 attacks on lawyers and law workers in 2 1/2 years of the Duterte regime, resulting in 40 deaths, including 2 paralegals and a Clerk of RTC Court.

OPEN LETTER TO CHIEF JUSTICE LUCAS BERSAMIN OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINES

24 December 2018

Mr. Chief Justice:

We, the undersigned lawyers and members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), write to you to express our grave concern over the rising number of cases of extrajudicial killings of lawyers throughout the Philippines.

We urge the Supreme Court of the Philippines, through the Honorable Chief Justice, to take immediate action to protect lawyers in the Philippines as they perform their function to protect their clients’ rights and uphold the rule of law.

On December 22, 2018, Rodel Batocabe, a lawyer and a sitting member of the House of Representatives, was killed by still unidentified assassins in the Province of Albay. A day earlier, Erfe del Castillo, a member of IBP Negros Occidental, was ambushed but survived a rain of bullets in Talisay, Negros Occidental.

Congressman Batocabe’s murder brings to at least thirty-six (36) the number of lawyers and judges who had become victims of extrajudicial killings during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Only last month, Atty. Benjamin Ramos, was shot dead by two unidentified men at the public plaza of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. Atty. Ramos was the Secretary General of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL)-Negros. There is reason to believe that his death was related to his work assisting the families of the victims of the Sagay 9 Massacre. Prior to his death, Atty. Ramos reportedly received death threats intended to make him stop assisting the families of the Sagay 9 victims.

The facts surrounding many of the killings of these lawyers and judges raise a reasonable belief that their deaths were also connected to their professional work (see list below).

The increasing number of these killings occurring with impunity is alarming. We can no longer stand idly by and allow this to continue.

In addition to the killings, some lawyers, especially those who are into human rights defense and advocacy, have experienced surveillance, harassment, threats, and red-tagging (see partial list below).

Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, we have a duty to society, the legal profession, the courts, and our clients. This includes the duty to serve our clients with competence and diligence and to exert every effort to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. We will not be able to perform these duties and responsibilities properly if we are in constant fear for our lives.

The United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers stresses that for legal assistance to be effective, it must be carried out independently. For this to be possible, the State must protect lawyers from any unlawful interference with their work and against all forms of harassment and threats from both State and non-State actors. Lawyers must be able to perform their duties in every case, regardless of who they represent, without being harassed, threatened, or killed.

The UN Basic Principles provides that “where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.”

We therefore call on the Supreme Court to:

• Take appropriate steps to ensure a thorough, prompt, impartial, and independent investigation into all the killings of lawyers from 30 June 2016; and

• Convene a dialogue between the Supreme Court, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, State security forces, particularly the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, other relevant government agencies, civil society organizations, and other lawyer organizations, where all parties could engage in open and constructive discussion on ensuring the safety and security of lawyers.

SIGNATORIES
(Members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines)

1. Abdiel Dan Elijah S. Fajardo
2. Marienne M. Ibadlit
3. Evalyn G. Ursua
4. Emerlynne A. Gil
5. Joanne R. Ala
6. Roel Pulido
7. Rene A.V. Saguisag
8. Mary Jane N. Real
9. Pacifico A. Agabin
10. Erwin Tiamson
11. Erich Justine Alano
12. Nolaida Aguirre
13. Claudie Mendoza
14. Francis Doble
15. Edre U. Olalia
16. Anna Maria D. Abad
17. Ephraim B. Cortez
18. Edwin S. Dela Cruz
19. Carlos A. Montemayor
20. Maria Kristina C. Conti
21. Maricar V. Hiballes
22. Arnel L. Lapore
23. Edmundo F. Manlapao, Jr.
24. Josephine Maria E. Natalaray
25. Gerry E. Llena
26. Marygold L. Chuatico
27. Michael T. Sunio
28. Gorgonio J. Ybanez
29. Narciso F. Javelosa
30. Pauline T. Nuega
31. Audrey Violet A. Lacson
32. Nino Jandy P. Calitis
33. Rene Estocapio
34. Janne Baterna
35. Mario Niel San Felix
36. Angelo Karlo Guillen
37. Elias Guiloreza
38. Teopisto Melliza
39. Criselda A. Heredia
40. Geobelyn L. Beraye
41. Sulpicio Gamosa, Jr.
42. Nilo L. Ruperto
43. Cyrus C. Riconalla
44. Nerio NB Bulado
45. Whelma F. Siton- Yap
46. Gloria Futalan
47. Pristine Ramona M. Raymond
48. Niña Rica Ruperto-Teves
49. Deogracias Eltanal, Jr.
50. Francisco Yap
51. Francis Sol Yap
52. Francis George Yap
53. Ronel C. Depalubos
54. Karissa Faye Tolentino
55. Gilbert Augustin J. Ganir
56. Rommel L. Erames
57. Arvin L. Sienes
58. Rey C. Himpayan
59. Belen Aldecoa Padayhag
60. Nehemias M. Vidal
61. Jose Ramon M. Nacao
62. Grace Ayson
63. Maria Ilsea Salvador
64. Tina Balajadia
65. Karen Pimentel Simbulan
66. Irwin Pena
67. Fred Pamaos
68. Ray Paolo Santiago
69. Haide Acuna
70. Abigail Serrano-Burgos
71. Abraham Acosta
72. Gregorio Tanaka Viterbo Jr.
73. Vincent Yambao
74. Mary Kathryn Sison
75. Dennis Sabado
76. Minerva Ambrosio
77. Susan Villanueva
78. Maria Judessa Botor-Jaranilla

LIST OF LAWYERS/PROSECUTORS/JUDGES KILLED

Name of Lawyer/Prosecutor/Judge
Date of Death
Circumstances

1. Lawyer Rogelio Bato Jr.
August 23, 2016
Killed by unidentified gunmen in Tacloban City, Leyte. He was the lawyer of then-mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. of Albuera, Leyte and the mayor’s son Kerwin Espinosa, who were accused of being drug personalities.

2. Lawyer Allen Evasan
August 23, 2016
He was shot dead outside his office in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

3. Lawyer Melver Tolentino
September 15, 2016
He was killed by unidentified men onboard a motorcycle at a gasoline station in Magsingcal, Ilocos Sur.
4. Lawyer Honorato Mazo
October 7, 2016
He was the Public Attorney’s Office senior provincial lawyer. He was killed in his backyard in Matalam, North Cotobato.

5. Prosecutor Rolando Acido
October 26, 2016
He was gunned down by two men onboard a motorcycle while he was on his way to the Mati City Hall of Justice in Davao Oriental.

6. Lawyer Jemar Apada
December 1, 2016
He was killed by a police officer in Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya. The suspect, Police Officer 1 Clifford Dulnuan, shot Apada at the boarding house of the victim’s wife who was also a cop.

7. Lawyer Arlan Castañeda
December 20, 2016
He was killed while attending Simbang Gabi (Christmas dawn mass) in San Pablo, Isabela. He was a former town councilor who served for 9 years.

8. Lawyer Goering Paderanga Sr.
December 22, 2016
He and his son (lawyer Gerik Paderanga) were shot during an altercation with a security guard. The father was killed on the spot, while Gerik died 3 days later.

9. Lawyer Gerik Paderanga

10. Prosecutor Johanne Noel Mingoa
January 11, 2018
He was killed by unidentified gunmen in Old Balara, Commonwealth Avenue. He was a Quezon City prosecutor at the time.

11. Judge Victor Canoy
February 2, 2017
He was shot on his way to an eatery in Surigao City. He was a retired judge of Surigao City Regional Trial Court, Branch 29.

12. Lawyer Mia Mascariñas Green
February 15, 2017
She was ambushed by 4 unidentified men in Bohol. She was an environmental lawyer. Her murder was linked to a property dispute in Panglao between the assailant, Lloyd Lancer Gonzaga, and his mother-in-law, Conrada Blomqvist, a client of Green.

13. Prosecutor Diosdado Azarcon
May 22, 2017
He was gunned down by motorcycle-riding men outside his house while on his way to work. He was a Caloocan City assistant prosecutor. His death could be linked to the numerous drugs cases being handled in the prosecutor’s office in Caloocan.

14. Lawyer Elmer Mitra Jr.
June 1, 2017
Killed inside a moving vehicle. Jessie Carlos, the gunman behind the Resorts World Manila attack, was the “main person of interest” in the killing of the lawyer.

15. Lawyer Dolores Yumol
June 6, 2017
She was the Bacoor City registrar and was also the former head of the bids and awards committee. She was on her way home with her husband Felipe when they were ambushed by unidentified gunmen in Las Piñas City.

16. Prosecutor Maria Ronatay
July 18, 2017
She was killed when unidentified men opened fire at her car while she was on her way home in Taytay, Rizal. She had been an assistant prosecutor since 2005.

17. Judge Godofredo Abul Jr.
August 5, 2017
He was a Butuan City Judge. He was killed when unidentified men fired at his vehicle. Reports say he was just about to resume work after a six-month suspension due to an extortion allegation involving a drug case filed in his sala. This was an accusation which he vehemently denied.

18. Lawyer Hermie Aban
August 15, 2017
He was the lawyer of former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, who is facing murder charges over the 2011 death of environmentalist and broadcast journalist Gerry Ortega. He was killed by a gunman just after leaving his house in Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa. He also represented several suspects in drug-related cases in Palawan and had served as an adviser to the city government’s Task Force Banat, an antidrug body.

19. Prosecutor Pablito Gahol
September 3, 2017
He was a former prosecutor and barangay chairperson. He was shot dead by unidentified men while on his way home from church in Mandaluyong City.

20. Prosecutor Reymund Luna
September 29, 2017
He was an assistant provincial prosecutor in Quezon province. He was gunned down by motorcycle-riding men in Infanta, Quezon.

21. Lawyer Expectacion Baldeo
December 3, 2017
She was a Social Security System employee. She was killed while manning her gasoline station in Tiaong, Quezon. Her husband, former Quezon board member Regore Baldeo, was also killed in 2010.

22. Lawyer Jonah John Ungab
February 19, 2018
He was vice mayor of Ronda, Cebu. He was killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire at his vehicle along S. Osmeña Street, Cebu City. He was the lawyer of suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and he was coming from a hearing related to Espinoa’s case before he was shot.

23. Lawyer Henry Joseph Herrera
April 22, 2018
He was killed when the vehicle he was riding with his family was ambushed by unidentified gunmen in Atimonan, Quezon.

24. Lawyer Ramy Tagnong
May 4, 2018
He was superintendent of the Calabarzon police legal affairs office. He was ambushed while onboard his vehicle with his partner in Antipolo City. Prior to his death, he had instituted several dismissal proceedings against erring policemen.

25. Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco
May 11, 2018
He was a Quezon City assistant prosecutor. He was ambushed while onboard his red Toyota Innova at Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City. The NBI filed criminal charges against three police officers who were allegedly involved in the killing.

26. Prosecutor Geronimo Marabe Jr.
May 22, 2018
He was killed by unidentified riding-in-tandem men in Ozamiz City. He served as public prosecutor for several cases involving the Parojinog family.

27. Prosecutor Madonna Joy Ednaco-Tanyag
June 4, 2018
She was assistant special prosecutor of the Office of the Ombudsman, she was stabbed in front of a lottery outlet along Visayas Avenue in Quezon City on June 4, 2018. Tanya was 5 months pregnant. She was declared dead at the East Avenue Medical Center.

28. Judge Ricky Begino
June 12, 2018
Judge of Metropolitan Circuit Trial Court of San Jose-Lagonoy, Camarines Sur. He was shot while on his way home. A suspect, Wilfredo Armea, was arrested the following day.

29. Lawyer Joey Galit
June 21, 2018
He and his wife were ambushed inside their subdivision. He handled sensitive cases in Rizal Province, Romblon and Palawan.

30. Lawyer Salvador Solima
July 2, 2018
He was killed by unidentified gunmen who barged into his home in Cebu City. He was a former assistant city prosecutor but was dismissed for gross misconduct and grave abuse of authority. Policeman Engelberto Durano was one of his clients. Durano was among those who testified before the House of Representatives justice committee regarding activities of alleged drug lords Jeffrey Diaz and Kerwin Espinosa. Solima also represented Ermita, Cebu City barangay Felicisimo Rupinta, who died in an ambush in November 2017.

31. Lawyer Rafael Atutubo
August 23, 2018
He was gunned down by unidentified men wearing bonnets outside his home in Bacolod City. He reportedly handled drug cases. He advocated against corruption in the judiciary and the police.

32. Lawyer Connie Villamor
September 24, 2018
She was killed by unidentified gunmen while onboard her vehicle in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

33. Lawyer Edel Julio Romero
September 28, 2018
He was gunned down in Barangay Culasi in Roxas City, Capiz. He was the lawyer of Melvin Odicta, the alleged to Iloilo drug lord who was slain in August 2016.

34. Judge Edmundo Pintac
October 8, 2018
He was shot dead by motorcycle-riding suspects in Barangay Banadero in Ozamiz City. He was executive judge of the city’s Regional Trial Court, Branch 15. He handled the drug and firearms cases against Nova Princess and Reynaldo Parojinog Jr.

35. Lawyer Benjamin Ramos
November 6, 2018
He was Secretary-General of the Negros Occidental arm of the National Union of People’s Lawyers. He was shot dead by riding-in-tandem assailants in Kabankalan City. A known human rights defender, Ramos represented political prisoners, farmers and other members of marginalized sectors in his career as a pro-bono lawyer.

36. Congressman Rodel Batocabe
December 22, 2018
He was a party-list Congressman representing the Ako Bicol Party in the House of Representatives. He was assassinated after a gift-giving activity in Daraga, Albay. He was vice chairman of the House committees on Dangerous Drugs and Public Accountability.

PARTIAL LIST OF LAWYERS UNDER SERIOUS THREAT

1. Lawyer Katherine Panguban

Panguban is the head of the National Union of People’s Lawyers Women and Children Committee. After she assisted a 14-year-old minor who was a witness in the Sagay 9 massacre, the Western Visayas Police Regional Office charged Panguban with kidnapping and serious illegal detention of the minor. The Sagay 9 massacre involved the killing of 9 members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers in Sagay, Negros Occidental on October 20, 2018.

2. Lawyer Ronnie U. Delicana

Delicana was connected with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency where he served for many years in various capacities until he returned to private practice. In 2018, he saw a soft copy of what was supposedly the drug list of the President where his name was included as a high value target. He was advised to leave Iloilo to avoid serious physical injury and possibly death. In August 2018, police elements visited his residence purportedly to inform him about his allegedly expired firearm licenses.

——————————————————————————————————–
The information above is based on reports from:
• National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL);
• Rappler, “LIST: Judges, prosecutors, lawyers killed under Duterte gov’t”, November 8, 2018, https://www.rappler.com/…/216239-list-judges-prosecutors-la…

• Other news sources

(Integrated Bar of the Philippines National  Facebook, 24/12/18)

The Philippines: Rodel Batocabe, outspoken lawyer and staunch supporter of ex-Speaker Alvarez

December 22, 2018

REST IN PEACE. In this file photo, the late AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe speaks during a plenary session on August 2, 2018. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

The killing of AKO Bicol Representative Rodel Batocabe – the first involving a sitting congressman under the Duterte administration and occurring 3 days before Christmas – came as a shock to his colleagues and to the small town where he was running for mayor.

He succumbed to 8 gunshot wounds.

On the same day, hours before Batocabe was killed, the former mayor of a Bukidnon town was also murdered.

The 52-year-old Batocabe was attending a gift-giving event for senior citizens and people with disabilities in the remote village of Burgos, Daraga town, Albay on Saturday, December 22, when two men wearing bonnets shot and killed him inside a covered court, police said.

His police escort, Senior Police Officer 1 Orlando Diaz, also died in the attack. Six others were wounded.

The two victims were rushed to a hospital in Legazpi City, but they were pronounced dead on arrival.

Batocabe, a lawyer and 3rd-termer representative, was running for Daraga mayor in the 2019 elections.

He was challenging the reelection bid of Mayor Carlwyn Baldo as well as Vice Mayor Victor Perete, who is also running for local chief executive.

Vocal lawmaker

Batocabe was one of the more vocal partylist representatives in the 17th Congress, where he served as the party-list coalition president. He was vice chairperson of 3 major House committees, including the panels on dangerous drugs, good government and public accountability, and natural resources. (READ: Arroyo, lawmakers condemn killing of Batocabe)

https://www.rappler.com/nation/219476-rodel-batocabe-profile

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/22/18/kongresista-patay-sa-pamamaril

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1065487/break-ako-bicol-rep-rodel-batocabe-shot-to-death

https://www.philstar.com/happens/559

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2018/12/22/rodel-batocabe-death-ako-bicol.html

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1065497/who-is-ako-bicol-rep-rodel-batocabe

https://www.manilatimes.net/batocabe-murder-shows-ugly-deadly-side-of-ph-local-politics/487192/

http://manilastandard.net/news/top-stories/283684/bounty-on-batocabe-s-killers.html

https://www.rappler.com/nation/219534-security-pullout-before-batocabe-murder-cops-cry-foul

https://www.rappler.com/nation/219526-bodies-found-dumped-daraga-albay-one-day-after-batocabe-murder

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/23/18/gunmen-also-wound-7-elderly-in-batocabe-killing

https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/12/23/peralta-urges-law-enforcement-agents-to-immediately-arrest-those-responsible-for-batocabes-death/

https://www.rappler.com/nation/219582-gertie-message-rodel-batocabe-killer-going-to-pay

https://www.rappler.com/nation/219578-albay-police-chief-milo-bella-pagtalunan-replaced-after-batocabe-murder

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1057387

https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/24/18/lawyers-group-urges-sc-to-protect-lawyers-following-batocabe-slay

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/12/24/1879633/ibp-urges-sc-look-killings-lawyers

https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/12/25/1879793/bersamin-ask-colleagues-independent-probe-killings-lawyers

https://www.manilatimes.net/police-eye-6-suspects-in-batocabe-killing/487538/?fbclid=IwAR0ODxHEy5YYj4x_mplac7KlGcZ7LSGMsQvb2IWScEoOa2HHOvpESz-YrOs

N.B.: The killing of lawyers under the Duterte regime continues in the Philippines. three in the past 6 weeks. Total of Attorneys killed 26; Prosecutors 8; Judges 3. Thus 37 lawyers killed in 2 1/2 years. Plus 2 Paralegals and 1 RTC Court Official. Six lawyers (5 Attorneys and 1 prosecutor) have survived the 46 murderous attacks.