The Integrated Bar of the Philippines - Negros Oriental chapter is raising funds as reward money for the identification, arrest, and prosecution of the lone gunman who murdered a lawyer on Friday, inside his law office at LeqTak building, corner San Jose and Ma. Cristina streets, Barangay 6, Dumaguete City.
IBP chapter president, Arturo Dupio, said during the emergency meeting of IBP officers on Saturday the group decided to put up reward money of P200,000.
Joel Obar, a member of the IBP Board, started the ball rolling by committing P20,000 to the reward fund; Dupio pledged P10,000; Rodrigo Icao P5,000, and Raymund Mercado pledged a significant amount, among others.
A resolution was also approved urging the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to expedite the resolution of the murder of Archer Baldwin Ricardo Martinez.
The resolution said the despicable act against a steward of justice should not go unpunished, lest the malefactors and other criminal elements will not be deterred from continuing their criminal acts against other people regardless of stature in life.
The IBP is also requesting law enforcement agencies to give a periodic status report on the investigation being conducted until finally those responsible will have been brought before the bars of justice.
Starting yesterday, lawyers in Negros Oriental numbering about 500 wore black armed bands to protest the killing of an officer of the court.
On the other hand, Icao, past president of the IBP Negros Oriental chapter, said he is desperately urging the PNP top hierarchy for the relief of the provincial commander and the police station chief of Dumaguete.
He said unresolved cases were piling up since the killing of lawyer Ramon Barrameda, agrarian lawyer Eliezer Casipong, two attempts on the life of lawyer Victoriano Alabastro, another attempt on the life of a certain Escobar also a lawyer, the murder of the former city treasurer of Dumaguete Erlinda Tumongha, the murder of a doctor, a beauty title holder who was shot dead at the Quezon Park, and the murder of a Kaugmaon leader Fermin Lorico, among others.
He said lawless elements are encouraged because of the incompetence of the police in solving brutal crimes in the city and in the province.
Raymund Mercado said he is deeply saddened by the loss of a seatmate, a classmate back in law school, and a brother in the Couples for Christ.
This is a concern because some people are trying to hit us when we are just doing our jobs, Mercado pointed out.
He knew Martinez as fair in his dealings and never stepped on people’s toes, he practices law with a heart, and with conscience on top of it, the past president of the IBP said.
Lawyers are also asking the police to check on the time clock of crimes in the city and province. Records show that several shooting incidents happened on Fridays.*JG
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