Probers tag hired guns behind human rights lawyer's killing in South Cotabato

KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO- Police said on Wednesday that the killing of a human rights lawyer in Surallah town could be the handiwork of a gun-for-hire group based on the initial forensic findings of the PNP-Crime Laboratory Office.

PCol. Jemuel Siason, South Cotabato police director, said that based on the ballistics test and cross matching of the fired cartridge recovered from the crime scene it showed that the .45 caliber handgun used in the killing of Atty. Juan Macababbad last September 15 was the same firearm used in a separate shooting incident in the province.

This has bolstered the theory that the suspected gunman could be a hired gun, police said.

Macababbad, a member of the left-leaning National Union of People’s Lawyer, was gunned down by motorcycle-riding suspects outside his house in Zone-4, Surallah town at around 5 p.m. last September 15.

The Department of Justice had ordered the National Bureau of Investigation  to conduct a deeper probe on the incident and file appropriate charges against the perpetrators.

PMajor Romy Castanares, Surallah police chief, said the victim’s family had earlier sought the assistance of the NBI to investigate the case.

He said  local police investigators are looking into a work-related angle as possible motive in the killing.

He said probers had already taken into their custody two witnesses who can shed light on the killing of Macababbad, the 65th lawyer killed since 2016.

He added that the local police will be closely coordinating with the NBI for the turnover of the evidence and witnesses needed in the filing of criminal charges against the suspects.

Lawyer Remegio Rojas, president of Integrated Bar of the Philippines for General Santos City and South Cobato, said their group has urged authorities to expedite the full investigation on the killing of their colleague who was regarded as a fierce advocate of justice and civil rights.

He said the government should undertake concrete and immediate measures to stop the culture of impunity and sense killings of lawyers. 


Post a Comment