Murdered at home
The murder of lawyer Salvador Solima inside his home in Singson Village in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City last Monday afternoon is more than just a threat to the legal profession of which there are many owing to their diverse clientele who include very unsavory characters.
It’s more about the rising incidence of violence in which people regardless of their status in life, can be killed in the sanctity of their homes. Or as in the case of Tanuan City Mayor Antonio Halili of Batangas province, shot down in front of hundreds of people while attending a flag raising ceremony at City Hall.
While Halili was accused of having ties to the illegal drug trade, there were reports that Solima was approached by two suspects who wanted him to represent someone charged in a drug case.
Oh and by the way, Ronda Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab, who represented drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, died in an ambush in broad daylight inside his car near the Hall of Justice with his wife as witness four months ago.
The veteran lawyer, whose wife wasn’t spared from the attack and remains confined at the hospital isn’t known for handling major drug cases.
Yet his death is the 11th recorded by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Cebu chapter in the province in 14 years, an alarming statistic that shows no signs of ever dropping off or stopping at the least.
Even with the arrest of one suspect who supposedly had drug ties, the lingering question of whether or not to arm lawyers similar to what had been proposed for active media practitioners who also face death threats will be floated but again, it’s doubtful if it will gain currency within the legal community.
While the incident won’t stop some lawyers from choosing to arm themselves for self-defense, a number of them believe that by doing so they have resigned themselves to the belief that the country’s law enforcement and justice system isn’t sufficient to deal with lawless violence.
The solution is not arming anyone else other than those designated by the law to keep the peace but to have proactive communities in each and every barangay who can easily monitor and report criminal activities to the authorities. It isn’t foolproof but it is a start and an effective deterrent against those wishing to inflict violence and crime to law-abiding citizenry.
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