IBP gov condemns Espinido’s reaction

By: King Anthony Perez February 21,2018 - 10:53 PM

ATTY. Elaine Bathan, the immediate governor of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines- Eastern Visayas chapter, expressed disgust over the reaction of ex-Albuera police head Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido on the death of Atty. Jonnah John Ungab.

Espenido, who now heads the Ozamiz City police, told Cebu Daily News on Tuesday that he was happy that Ungab was killed because his death he said, is a consequence of his alleged involvement with the illegal drug trade.

Ungab served as counsel of self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

Espenido previously filed a complaint against Ungab for protecting Espinosa, but the same was dismissed.

His comments did sit well with Bathan.

“Regardless of the situation, I don’t think it is right to rejoice in the death of somebody. No person has the right to rejoice over someone’s death. We are better than that,” Bathan said.

On Monday morning, Ungab was shot twice in broad daylight inside his vehicle. Initial police investigation showed that two unidentified assailants were involved in the killing of the lawyer.

Meanwhile the IBP Cebu City Chapter also criticized Espenido in an official statement printed in full below:

“The IBP Cebu City Chapter relays its utmost disappointment and vehement condemnation on the statement reported by the Cebu Daily News on Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido being ‘happy over the death of Atty. Jonnah John Ungab and accused him of being Kerwin Espinosa’s partner in illegal drugs.’

These words uttered by a police officer do not deserve a place in civilized society. You cannot continue besmirching a man’s name and reputation further to the abyss especially when that man has no more place to defend himself into; when he passed on to the next life; more so, when he left a wife and six young children defenseless.

To this day, there is no case filed against Atty. Ungab as regards his involvement in illegal drugs. He was only duty-bound to his client like any lawyer should — to uphold the rule of law and for justice be served at all times.

Espenido’s words pierce like salt to the already injured. It connotes no honor, no remorse and no respect for human dignity and the rule of law.

We call upon sobriety among all sectors and leave the wheels of justice to turn its course. We call upon all media outlets to remain steadfast in their way of reporting and be more sensitive to the bereaved. We call upon all our brothers and sisters in the law profession to join in unity for our welfare and remain true to our oath.

And here’s our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Atty. Ungab.”

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