Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles has welcomed the Supreme Court’s (SC) move to address the continuing attacks against members of the law profession, with 56 law practitioners killed since 2016.

The 56th casualty, lawyer Winston Intong, was gunned down near his house in Malaybalay, Bukidnon last week, a day after the SC, Department of Justice, and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines met with other stakeholders on the issue.

“We cannot wait soon enough for this issue to be resolved.”

“That another lawyer has been killed just a day after the meeting underscores the urgency of the issue. I thank the SC and DOJ for collaborating to put an end to these acts of impunity. We cannot wait soon enough for this issue to be resolved,” Nograles, a Harvard-trained lawyer, said.

The lawmaker, a vice-chair of the Committee on Justice, said he was looking forward to reading the SC’s report to see where legislative action will be required.

He emphasized the need for all branches of government to “row in one direction” in efforts to provide a safer environment for the administration of law and justice.

“Mag-aambag din po ang Kongreso at makikipag-tulungan kung anong batas ang kailangang maipasa upang masigurong ligtas ang mga kumikilos para sa pananaig ng batas, at upang magkaroon ng mas maayos na klima para sa pagtaguyod ng hustisya sa bansa,” Nograles said.

According to the DOJ, out of the 56 killings, only 5 cases have reached the courts.

The neophyte solon also said that the SC’s plan to require courts to inventory all pending lawyer-killing cases––aging, status, as well as reasons for delay––and expedite their resolution would be good news for the families of the victims who have been clamoring for justice.

According to the DOJ, out of the 56 killings, only 5 cases have reached the courts. The rest do not have data from prosecutors’ offices nationwide, which the DOJ says, is because there are no pending cases.

Last year, Nograles filed House Resolution No. 185 calling for an inquiry into the deaths of law practitioners.

The said resolution also urges the creation by the Department of Justice and Philippine National Police, in close coordination with the Commission on Human Rights and Integrated Bar of the Philippines, of a special task force that would enforce legal action to bring those accountable for the deaths to justice.

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