The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has called for a thorough investigation on the reported assassination attempt against the president of its chapter in Abra province last January 29.
The IBP, the country’s mandatory organization for Filipino lawyers, identified the target of the slay bid as Hamilcar Bigornia. The assault was reportedly staged by two men right in Bigornia’s office at about 9:30 a.m.
“While one of them waited (outside), the other approached Atty. Bigornia who was ordered to go out together with his aide. The person outside then handed his companion a knife who then repeatedly stabbed the aide before also stabbing Atty. Bigornia,” the IBP said in a statement.
Fortunately, another aide of Bigornia came and shot one of the assailants dead, the IBP said.
“We thus appeal to our brothers in the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), PNP (Philippine National Police), and other law enforcement agencies to investigate this matter as well as any other unsolved instances that seriously impinge upon the rule of law,” the IBP said.
“The incisive and growing impunity towards lawyers, judges, and officers of the Court has fostered an overwhelming climate of dread,” the IBP lamented.
But the lawyer’s group stressed that they would not be cowed or stifled.
“Lawyers must be able to advocate their clients’ causes free from the corrupting elements of fear and intimidation. For if lawyers who are sentinels of the rule of law and who serve the poor are themselves assassinated or attacked with impunity, no one would feel secure or have faith in our justice system,” the IBP said.
“Hired killers and their masterminds have no place in a civilized society. Violence directed towards the members of our justice system must never be tolerated,” it added.