June 13, 2018
A lawyer accused of threats and extortion by victims of human rights violations during the Martial Law, who received reparations from the government, turned the tables on his accusers.
In a statement emailed to the Daily Guardian on June 12, 2018, Atty. Rey Gorgonio said, “a lawyer is entitled to protection from malicious attack on his person, his honor, his profession and dignity as a human being.”
He cited that on June 10, 2018, at about 2 p.m. more or less, at the Office of the Negros Press Club, my good reputation, honor and dignity as a lawyer was maliciously besmirched by persons whom I have served to the best of my ability as I was able to have their cases filed before the Human Rights Victims Claims Board approved. Thus they were awarded millions of pesos.”
He further claimed that “from March 2014 until the filing of their claims before the Human Rights Victims Claims Board, on July 3 and 4, and in the last week of September 2014, at the Bacolod People’s House, and before the Commission on Human Rights Office, Edmundo Diaz, Danilo Malimbag, Ma. Fe Tanallon, Violeta Oyos, along with many other victims of Martial Law came to my office and engaged my legal services.”
He narrated that at that time, “these persons have no money to pay for acceptance fees and other legal services, and it was them who proposed to pay me half of their award.”
Out of deep sympathy to their plight, Gorgonio said “I only settled for a measly twenty percent (20%) of their total award should they recover any from the claims board to which they voluntarily and willingly agreed. I relied on their representation and was made to believe that they will comply in good faith like my other clients have done.”
Gorgonio further said that since April to July 2014, Diaz, Malimbag, Tanallon, Oyos, along with numerous Human Rights Violations Victims during Martial Law, “were lining up in my office.”