IBP slams ambush-slay of QC prosecutor

MANILA The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on Tuesday condemned the killing of Quezon City Deputy Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco.

We express outrage over the impunity by which lawyers, prosecutors and judges, are being targeted by evil forces in their malevolent efforts to subvert the rule of law, IBP President Atty. Abdiel Dan Elijah S. Fajardo said in a statement.

Velasco was killed in an ambush while on his way to pick up his wife from work on Friday afternoon.

He was driving his red Toyota Innova along Holy Spirit Drive in Barangay Holy Spirit when attacked by unidentified perpetrators at around 4:55 p.m.

A witness told police that a white Innova cut into the path of Velasco's vehicle after which the assailants shot the prosecutor several times before fleeing the scene.

The brazen daylight killing of QC prosecutor Velasco is the latest in a quick succession of murders perpetrated against officers of the Court without any regard to the sanctity of life, and with gross disrespect to their loved ones who will forever be scarred by the violence they had never imagined they would experience first-hand in their lifetime, Fajardo said.

Fajardo has called on authorities to hunt down the perpetrators behind the death of Velasco.

We call upon the authorities to do their jobs and hold to account the perpetrators of this dastardly act against Prosecutor Velasco. Impunity is the natural child of apathy and incompetence, he noted.

Earlier, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the killing of Velasco

Guevarra said he has directed the NBI to identify the perpetrators, determine their motive and bring them to justice.

He described the incident as another "murderous act" even as he assured that prosecutors are unfazed in performing their duties despite the latest killing.

"As we condemn another senseless attack to our dedication and passion in the performance of our prosecution task, let us remain firm in our commitment to serve justice and find comfort in the thought that this too will pass away and hope that Prosecutor Velasco's fall is the last in the prosecution service," Guevarra stressed in a statement.

"As we await for results of the investigation being conducted by police authorities and the NBI, let us remain hopeful that the truth will be revealed and the perpetrators be made to suffer the consequences of their treacherous acts," he added.

Velasco is the latest prosecutor killed so far under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who is a former prosecutor himself.

The others were Quezon Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Reymund Luna, Caloocan City prosecutor Diosdado Azarcon, Quezon City prosecutor Noel Mingoa, Rizal assistant prosecutor Maria Ronatay and retired Mandaluyong City Prosecutor Pablito Gahol.

Acting Prosecutor General Jorge G. Catalan Jr. said the continued brazen attack on prosecutors all over the country has alarmingly grown in number.

This latest attack on the NPS sends a clear message that these shameless perpetrators are not afraid of anything or anyone. Nonetheless, our voices will remain vigilant and will not simply be silenced by these atrocious acts, he said.

As arbiters of the law, we prosecutors stand united in condemning the killings. We shall not cower in fear in this time of threat, intimidation and uncertainty. We shall continue to uphold the rule of law at any cost despite the apparent risks and danger involved, he noted. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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