By Jeffrey Damicog
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Monday (July 29) called on government authorities to immediately find out who were behind the killing of lawyer Anthony Trinidad in Negros Oriental.
“Filipino lawyers and our country demand that the law enforcement, investigating, and prosecuting agencies of government do their job well and with dispatch, lest everyone lose trust and hope in our justice system and government,” said IBP President Domingo Egon Cayosa in a statement.
“For if lawyers who are the sentinels of the rule of law and who serve the poor are themselves assassinated with impunity, no one would be safe and no one would expect justice in our country,” he added.
Cayosa reminded law enforcement agencies that President Rodrigo Duterte, himself, gave the order “to determine the perpetrators and to prosecute these killers and ensure that they will face the appropriate punishment for such criminal act.”
Last July 23, Trinidad was driving his vehicle with his wife along the highway in his hometown Guihulgan City, when they were assaulted by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants in broad daylight.
Meanwhile, Cayosa said the IBP, in recognition of Trinidad’s exemplary service and sacrifice, will be “allotting significantly more IBP benefits for him and all others who may be attacked possibly for their pubic interest lawyering.”
“We celebrate the life and honor the memory of the courageous lawyers who unswervingly help the marginalized and the disadvantaged. They inspire us to persistently work for peace through justice. Violence, regardless of the motive or perpetrator, only adds to, rather than solves any problem,” he said.
The IBP president noted that Trinidad “chose to forego a lucrative and promising career in Manila and Dumaguete City to settle in his hometown, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental.”
“He quietly and responsibly practiced law and handled not a few public interest and free legal aid cases. By all accounts, he was a good and selfless lawyer,” he stated.