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Number of slain lawyers under Duterte administration increased 500% –IBP

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said on Saturday that during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, lawyer killings increased by 500%.

In a statement, the IBP condemned the latest of these murders - Deputy City Prosecutor Victor Begtang Jr. was killed inside his home in Conner, Apayao last June 23, 2021

“Prosecutor Begtang is the ninth prosecutor to be killed during this administration. With the recent killing of Atty. Sitti Gilda Mahinay-Sapie in Davao City on July 14, 2021, this now makes the death toll of lawyers killed during this administration at 63,” the IBP stated.

The lawyers’ organization also said it was “appalled” by the number of assassinated lawyers, including judges and prosecutors, all of whom were killed with impunity.

“In stark contrast, the number of lawyers killed during the previous administrations stretching way back to 1972 was no less than 10 for each administration, with one administration even having no lawyer death ever recorded," the IBP said.

"Indeed, the numbers, as these now stand under the present administration, have alarmingly increased by as much as 500%,” it added.

It vowed to work with the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, as well as the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to address and arrest the attacks against IBP members.

The IBP also called on the state forces and the investigative agencies to “formulate and implement” measures that will improve the security of lawyers, judges, and prosecutors and to “expeditiously resolve its investigations on these killings so that the perpetrators are swiftly and truly held accountable.” — DVM, GMA News