“Both our collective moral sense and the international convention on human rights recognize the right to life as an inherent right of every human being that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived thereof.”
By RUTH LUMIBAO
MANILA — On February 19, Bulatlat received an urgent alert stating that lawyer Jonah John Ungab, Vice Mayor of the Municipality of Ronda, Cebu and lawyer of alleged drug lord, Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa, was shot dead by unidentified men after attending a court hearing.
The Cebu chapter of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL-Cebu) was quick to condemn the murder in a statement.
“Both our collective moral sense and the international convention on human rights recognize the right to life as an inherent right of every human being that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived thereof,” they said.
The lawyers’ group urged authorities to immediately conduct a “full and impartial investigation”.
“Failure to do so will only embolden murderers under a pervasive culture of impunity that knows no power of the rule of law,” NUPL-Cebu warned. They also said that attacks against lawyers undermine the ‘proper functioning of our entire justice system’. Lawyers under attack include members of the NUPL themselves, especially National President Edre Olalia and National Chairperson Neri Colmenares, who have been victims of trumped up charges and surveillance.
“We likewise urge our brothers and sisters in the legal profession to be vigilant in our quest for justice and our struggle to put an end to rampant killings and human rights violations which continue to plague our country,” NUPL-Cebu ended.
In a recent update from the NUPL-Cebu chapter, the police are looking into three angles: (1) drug-related because of his high-profile clients, (2) personal, and (3) other professional dealings that have gone sour. The most viable, from investigation of the police, is the drug angle.