Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has joined the rest of the nation in condemning the brazen killing of Quezon City Deputy Prosecutor Rogelio Velasco and called on President Duterte to give justice to Velasco’s family.
De Lima, a lawyer by profession, said a serious and thorough investigation must be done to punish the perpetrators and give justice to Velasco and his family.
“Mga walang konsensya ang nasa likod ng karumal-dumal na pagpatay sa isang abogado at prosecutor na iginagalang at hinahangaan sa kanyang serbisyo. Sobra na po ito! Palala nang palala ang ganitong klaseng karahasan sa ating bansa,” she said in an official statement from detention.
“Tinatawagan ko ang Pangulong Duterte at ang ating kapulisan, kasama na ang National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), na madaliang bigyan ng hustisya ang kamatayan ni Atty. Velasco [para] maipapakita natin sa masasamang elemento sa ating lipunan na hindi natin papalampasin ang anumang atake laban sa ating mga kasamahan sa paglaban sa krimen.” she added.
Based on news reports, Velasco was with his two daughters when he was ambushed inside his vehicle by still unidentified men in broad daylight in Bgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City, last May 11.
While Velasco’s daughters were safe, De Lima expressed concern about the toll and the trauma Velasco’s murder has left his children with.
The Senator from Bicol urged Duterte and his lackeys to stop promoting the culture of violence and impunity to avoid giving an impression that killings can easily go unpunished.
“Hindi solusyon ang karahasan. Dahil sa kultura ng karahasan na ipinatupad sa ilalim ng administrasyong ito, naging lalong marahas na rin ang mga kriminal at nagiging peligroso ang hanapbuhay ng ating mga law enforcement officials,” she said.
“Kung ang Pangulo mismo, kasama na ang mga kaalyado niyang pinuno ang pasimuno at naghihikayat ng mga patayan; kung pinipili pa rin ng marami sa atin na masanay sa pananahimik at pagwawalang-kibo, ilang libong abogado, ilang libong inosenteng bata, ilang libong maralitang Pilipino pa ang mabibiktima?” she asked, categorically.
De Lima further noted that attacks against legal professionals continue to be common practice–and even worsens–under the leadership of President Duterte, which is one of the reasons why she earlier filed Senate Bill (SB) No. 1721 and Senate Resolution (SR) No. 668.
De Lima’s SB No. 1721 seeks to amend Article 14 of the Revised Penal Code, adding as an aggravating circumstance the crime committed against lawyers and justice sector officials, while SR No. 668 seeks to look into the recent spate of killings and attacks against members of the legal profession.