Top Philippine Court Condemns Murders, Attacks Against Lawyers

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The Philippines’ Supreme Court on Tuesday condemned killings and acts of violence against judges and lawyers, vowing to provide security to those under threat amid an increasing spate of murders and attacks against legal professionals.

“To assault the judiciary is to shake the very bedrock on which the rule of law stands,” the Supreme Court said in a statement. “This cannot be allowed in a civilized society like ours.”

The court’s call came after a report found that 61 lawyers have been killed during the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, while there were 28 murdered from 1972, during the martial law rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, to the end of President Benigno Aquino’s administration in 2016, the Philippine Star said on March 15, citing data from the Free Legal Assistance Group.

The high tribunal asked lower courts, law enforcement agencies and the public for information about every threat or killing of a lawyer or a judge in the past 10 years as it prepares to deliberate the matter in late April. The court said it’s ready to provide security arrangements for any judge who is under threat.

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