Palace condemns ‘brutal slaying’ of human rights lawyer
November 07, 2018
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MALACANANG on Wednesday condemned the “brutal slaying” of the secretary-general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers-Negros Island and vowed a “speedy and impartial probe into his murder.”
“Any form of violence, other than legal, has no place in a civilized society,” Palace spokesman Salavdor Panelo said in a statement, after Ben Ramos was shot dead earlier in the day as he was headed home.
“We strongly condemn the brutal slaying of Atty. Ben Ramos, lawyer and founding member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL),” he said.
Two men on a motorcycle gunned down Ramos in front of a store near the public plaza in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. He sustained three gunshot wounds in the right backside and left upper chest of his body.
Ramos, one of the founding members of NUPL, was a pro bono lawyer for peasants, political prisoners, and victims of human rights violations in Negros.
Panelo said authorities were “now conducting a speedy and impartial investigation with respect to the incident and pertinent agencies will do all they can to ensure that the perpetrators of this detestable atrocity are brought to justice.”
He, however, hit back at some groups and lawmakers who blamed President Rodrigo Duterte’s government for Ramos’ murder, calling their actions as “reckless.”
“Putting the blame of the slaying on the government by a group or by a member of Congress not only is reckless, irresponsible and baseless as well,” Panelo said.
“It will not reduce the sorrow of the bereaved family nor will it bring closer to the attainment of justice. It can only inflame the emotions of those outraged by the senseless death,” he added.
The Palace official assured the public that the President “will not allow any person or group of persons violate any law and get away with it.”
“He (Duterte) will spare no one in his relentless drive against criminality pursuant to the constitutional directive for him to protect and serve the country’s citizenry,” Panelo said.
“He expresses his condolences to the grieving family and gives his assurance that there will be no stone left unturned in the solution of the killing of a fellow member of the bar,” he added. CATHERINE VALENTE
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