Dispatch from Crame No. 366: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on the PNP’s arrest of Lawyers


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The other day, in the war on drugs, the PNP has just declared lawyers as combatants. By arresting lawyers defending their client from a PNP raiding team, the police were responding in the only manner that they know since they were unleashed like dogs by their master in Malacañang two years ago.

The message is clear. The police is no longer making any distinction between lawyers defending clients and the target of police operations. Lawyers are now fair game as targets of the drug war. That IBP card is no longer protection from police abuse.

Maybe it is only ironic that the mastermind of this breakdown in the rule of law, where even lawyers are no longer safe, is a lawyer himself. The argument that Duterte is a lawyer, and that therefore he knows what he is doing, is probably the most abused line of those defending this kind of impunity that now has lawyers for victims.

Tokhang is no longer for the poor and defenseless alone. Lawyers are also now in the PNP’s line of sight. Everyone is now equal, not before the law, but in the breakdown of the rule of law and Duterte’s reign of impunity. ###

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