Tag Archives: The Philippines

The Philippines: Lawyer, pal slain in Manila

June 3, 2017

A lawyer and his companion were shot dead in Manila Thursday night.
Elmer Mitra Jr., 38; Alvin Cruzin, 43, and a still unidentified companion were cruising in a gray BMW (XDX-993) at the corner of Perez and Belen streets just before 10 p.m. when shots were fired inside the vehicle.

The car skidded before hitting the gutter and turning over, witnesses said.

Closed-circuit television footage showed a man crawling out of the car from the backseat, then running toward Apacible street.

Police officers said the man – now considered the main suspect – was wearing a blue T-shirt and cargo pants. He was of medium build and at least 5’9” tall, they said.

Probers recovered four spent shells from a 9mm pistol, six bullets and a 9mm pistol with serial number Z04575.

The victims’ identification cards were found in a brown bag.

Mitra is a son of former Pasay City prosecutor Elmer Mitra.

http://www.philstar.com/metro/2017/06/03/1706108/lawyer-pal-slain-manila

http://news.mb.com.ph/2017/06/02/roundup-news-in-and-around-metro-manila-june-2-2017/

The Philippines: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of Senator Leila de Lima in the Philippines

May 19, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of Senator Leila de Lima in the Philippines.

Senator Leila de Lima is a lawyer, human rights activist and politician. She served as Chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights from May 2008 to June 30, 2010, then as the Secretary of the Department of Justice from July 2, 2010 to October 12, 2015. Currently, she sits as a senator in the Philippines’ 17th Congress, having assumed office on June 30, 2016. From July 25, 2016 to September 19, 2016, she was the Chair of the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee.

It has come to the Law Society’s attention that on February 23, 2017, the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court in Metro Manila issued a warrant for Senator de Lima’s arrest. She is accused of receiving bribes from detained drug lords during her tenure as Justice Secretary and faces three criminal charges under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. If found guilty, she faces 12 years to life in prison. The charges are based, in part, on accusations by inmates of New Bilibid Prison who, according to sources in both the Bureau of Corrections and the Philippine National Police, were bribed by current Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre for their testimony. More specifically, Aguirre purportedly authorized the provision of material benefits to the inmates – including televisions, cell phones, Internet access and air conditioning units – after they provided testimony against Senator de Lima.

The Senator denies the charges against her and maintains that she is being politically persecuted for being a vocal critic of the Philippine government’s war on drugs, a campaign which has engendered thousands of extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations of mostly poor, defenceless victims. Many believe that by arresting and detaining Senator de Lima, the Philippine government is attempting to silence criticism of its deadly anti-drug crackdown and to divert attention away from the corollary human rights violations.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503818

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503818&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

The Philippines: Caloocan prosecutor gunned down

May 23, 2017

A veteran member of the Caloocan City Prosecutor’s Office was gunned down by a lone assassin who was backed up by at least two cohorts as the victim was approaching his car in front of his house yesterday morning in Caloocan.
Initial reports said Assistant City Prosecutor Diosdado Azarcon, 57, died on the spot from gunshot wounds in the head and body.
His assailant described by a witness as about 5’5 in height, medium-built, short black hair and wearing gray T-shirt escaped of board a waiting motorcycle driven by his cohort toward an unknown direction.
In a report to Northern Police District (NPD) director Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo, city police chief Senior Supt. Chito Bersaluna showed that the victim was about to ride on his Toyota Avanza parked in front of his house in Barangay 63, West Grace Park around 7:35 a.m. when the killer shot him at close range in the head and body, killing him instantly.
Elements of NPD Crime Laboratory led by Chief Insp. Avelino Andaya recovered three empty shells and one deformed bullet for a .45 caliber pistol from the crime scene.
Investigators are still facing a blank wall as to the motive behind the incident since the immediate family members of the victim were still in shock over the killing.

http://www.tribune.net.ph/metro/caloocan-prosecutor-gunned-down

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/898307/nbi-probes-killing-of-caloocan-prosecutor

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/metro/611666/state-prosecutor-shot-dead-outside-caloocan-city-home/story/

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/metro/611672/doj-orders-nbi-to-probe-killing-of-caloocan-prosecutor/story/

https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/898578/doj-slams-killing-of-prosecutor

https://rmn.ph/pagpatay-sa-isang-prosecutor-ng-pamahalaan-mariing-kinondena-ng-doj/ (TAGALOG)

The Philippines: Three months and counting: Lawyer’s alleged killers still at large

May 21, 2017

The Manila Times Online

BOHOL’s tourism industry heaved a figurative sigh of relief when the last of the 11 Abu Sayyaf members who landed in Inabanga last April was killed last May 15. The presence of the Abu Sayyaf in Bohol, the subsequent military operations, and the travel warnings issued by a number of foreign embassies had resulted in hotel and tour cancellations.

Crime, especially violent crime, in general is bad for the tourism business.

Recently, former volunteers of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Netherland Development Organization (SNV), their friends and relatives, wrote an impassioned letter to the Bohol provincial board. The letter is an expression of solidarity with Stuart Green, a British former VSO volunteer, whose wife, lawyer Mia Mascariñas-Green, was brutally murdered in Tagbilaran City last February 15 (see my Manila Times column of March 27, “Murder in paradise,” for details about the murder).

The 73 individuals who signed the letter said they felt “compelled to ask tourists to think twice about visiting Bohol until this crime has been solved and to inform the Bohol resort they were planning to visit as to the reason.” They described the murder as a barbaric act and were “appalled to know that the alleged perpetrators were arrested in Bohol only months ago for possession of both “shabu” (…) and the illegal possession of firearms only to be immediately released (…) upon the recommendation of the local prosecutor.” They were referring to the raid conducted on the resort then controlled by the murder suspects, a raid that yielded high-powered firearms, silencers, ammunition and shabu.

Yes, the suspects are still at large.

http://www.manilatimes.net/three-months-counting-lawyers-alleged-killers-still-large/328463/

The Philippines: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the murder of lawyer Mia Mascariñas-Green in the Philippines

May 10, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the murder of lawyer Mia Mascariñas-Green in the Philippines.

Mia Mascariñas-Green was a public interest lawyer who was known for her work and advocacy on behalf of women, children, farmers, fisherfolk and the environment. She often took on cases and represented clients pro bono.

According to reports, on February 15, 2017, Mia Mascariñas-Green was gunned down by four men on motorcycles while driving home with her three children and a nanny. Although her children and their nanny were unharmed, Mia Mascariñas-Green was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police believe that the assassination is tied to Mia Mascariñas-Green’s legal work, as she was working on a contentious land dispute case at the time of her death.

The Law Society is deeply troubled by these reports. We strongly believe that lawyers should be able to carry out their professional duties and activities without fear for their lives, liberty and security.

The Law Society of Upper Canada urges the Government of the Philippines to comply with the Philippines’ obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503796

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503796&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

The Philippines: 2 explosions rock Quiapo: 2 dead, 6 injured

May 6, 2017

MPD cops at Islamic Center in Quiapo 1 - 6 May 2017

Two explosions – occurring about 2 1/2 hours apart – rocked Quiapo, Manila, Saturday evening, the first one killing two people and injuring four others, and the second one injuring two police officers.

The first explosion, which happened at around 5:40 p.m. on Gunao Street, at the office lawyer Nasser Abinal, president of the Imamate Islamic Center.

Shortly afterwards, the Manila Police District (MPD) secured the area around the , closing the street to traffic, according to a report by Radyo Inquirer.

At around 8:30 p.m., another there was another explosion, this time at the Norzagaray and Elizondo Streets.

This happened as Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), was about to wrap up a media briefing on the earlier explosion. With Albayaldo was Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, MPD chief.

Albayalde said the first explosion originated from a package delivered to the the lawyer’s office.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/894788/2-explosions-rock-quiapo-2-dead-6-injured

The Philippines/ICC: Solgen wants lawyer who sued Duterte before int’l court disbarred

April 25, 2017

SOLICITOR General Jose Calida said Tuesday that he will ask the Supreme Court to disbar the lawyer who filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte and 11 government officials before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.

Calida said the complaint of Jude Sabio, legal counsel of self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, against Duterte were “malicious” and “baseless”.

“It appears that this lawyer is in the business of maliciously filing baseless suits based only on hearsays and unfounded suspicions,” the top government lawyer said in a statement.

Calida said this is not the first time that Sabio will face a complaint for filing a “groundless” case against an individual.

In 2008, the SC sanctioned Sabio for violating the Lawyers’ Code of Professional Responsibility when he filed a groundless bribery charge against Cabuyao, Laguna Municipal Trial Court of Cities Judge Alden Cervantes.

He was directed to pay P5,000 by the SC and was warned that a more severe penalty would be imposed had he repeat the questioned act.

“This perennial loser stubbornly refuses to heed the warning from the Supreme Court that if he commits the same infraction, he will be punished more severely,” Calida said. “We will see him in court,” he added.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/manila/local-news/2017/04/25/solgen-wants-lawyer-who-sued-duterte-intl-court-disbarred-538418

http://www.rappler.com/nation/167975-calida-disbar-jude-sabio-icc

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/892170/de-lima-defends-sabio-calls-solgen-an-obnoxious-creature

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/04/25/why-impeachment-is-a-threat-to-president-duterte-even-if-everyone-knows-it-wont-pass/

https://www.nytimes.com/es/2017/04/25/rodrigo-duterte-demanda-la-haya/ (ESPANOL)