De Lima condemns killing of Cavite Prosecutor


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed her condemnation of the killing of Assistant City Prosecutor Edilberto Mendoza, who was shot dead in front of his house in Cavite on the last day of 2021.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, maintained that one death is too many.

Hindi pa ba tayo quota sa mga patayan at kailangang tapusin ang taon sa pagpatay sa isa na namang abogado?” she asked in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1198.

“I join the legal community in condemning the killing of Assistant City Prosecutor Edilberto Mendoza of Trece Martires, Cavite.

“As the end of the Duterte regime draws near, the culture of impunity that it has sown in the past 6 years of wanton disregard for human lives continues to wreak havoc on the lives of the people it once vowed to protect,” she added.

Based on media reports, Mendoza was outside his house at around 7:30 a.m. last Dec. 31, 2021, along Barangay Cabuco, TMC, Cavite, when he was shot in the head, making him the 66th lawyer killed in the past five and a half years of Duterte administration.

Cavite police chief Arnold Abad reportedly said the gunman was still unidentified.

“That the year ended with another cold-blooded killing of a lawyer is a grim reminder of the horrible state of the rule of law in our country. This simply should not be allowed to continue,” De Lima said.

“Lumalakas ang loob ng mga mamamatay-tao at nagpapatuloy ang ganitong mga brutal na krimen dahil sa kabila ng pagtaas ng mga kaso ng pamamaslang ay lantaran ang kawalan ng pananagutan.

“Hindi ito dapat na ikamanhid o kasanayan na lang; ang paghahanap ng hustisya ay lalong hindi dapat ikatakot o isantabi lang, kundi dapat ipaglaban ng mga pamilya ng biktima at ng sambayanang naghahangad ng matiwasay at makatarungang lipunan,” De Lima said in a separate statement.

Since 2017, De Lima has called for independent inquiries into the spate of killings of lawyers. During the 17th Congress, she filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1721 which seeks to increase penalties against perpetrators who commit offenses against workers in the legal and justice sector.

In the 18th Congress, she filed SB No. 780, seeking to amend Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) to add, as an aggravating circumstance, the crime having been committed against lawyers and justice sector officials. (30)

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