Press Release
November 7, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 644:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on the killing of Judge Mario Bañez


I condemn the murder of Judge Mario Bañez in San Fernando, La Union. As the sixth judge and 43rd person of the law to be killed under the Duterte administration, Bañez' death is a vicious assault on the judicial sector.

This recent attack is yet again the handiwork of the culture of death propagated no less by President Duterte. It seems like there is no safe place for the workers in the judiciary, despite their sector being a bastion of the rule of law. One death is simply too many. 43 law professionals killed under this administration reflects the reality that not even justice workers are safe in this country.

With the rising death toll of lawyers, prosecutors and judges, we must ask: who will be the resort of the oppressed, when members of the legal community are being killed?

I have proposed a bill to grant hazard pay for judiciary workers, particularly those handling criminal cases. But more importantly, the continuing attacks must be stopped. That is why I filed last month Senate Resolution 170, seeking an inquiry into the continuing attacks and killings of lawyers, prosecutors and judges. This recent death makes this inquiry an urgent concern that the Senate must look into now.

Hindi naaayon ang ganitong patayan sa ating lipunan, lalo na at ang mga abugado at hukom ang nakikitang pag-asa ng inaapi para makamit ang katarungan mula sa mga abusado. Kung magiging biktima ng karahasan ang sandigan ng inaapi, sino na lang ang magtatanggol sa hustisya mula sa isang pamunuang pinipilit baluktutin ang batas para sa sariling adyenda? ###

(Access the handwritten version of Dispatch from Crame No. 644, here:

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