IBP Cebu City to tap NBI-7’s help in investigating threats on lawyers

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo September 04,2019 - 05:44 PM

A screengrab from the Facebook post of lawyer Magdalena Lepiten.

CEBU CITY, Philippines —The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Cebu City Chapter will be asking the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) to investigate the alleged threats on some of their members.

“The law is there to protect life, liberty, and property. If you threaten the very lives of the people who are working to protect the law, I don’t know what kind of society we are in. This is a joke. We are not taking this sitting down,” she said.

At least two Cebu lady lawyers shared on their social media accounts on Tuesday the alleged threats on their lives.

Lawyers Magdalena Lepiten and Kim Grace Mendoza complained of having received calls and messages from a certain “Bobby” who asked P100, 000 in exchange for their security.

They received the calls a day after the ambush on lawyer Inocencio Dela Cerna.

“It seems that our community is not really safe for lawyers now. We are asking the IBP lawyers to stay calm and to face this with sobriety but never jeopardize your security. Let’s all be prepared. We must all be prepared and do not undermine your personal security,” Oliva said.

Oliva said that she will be writing NBI-7 to seek assistance in locating and tracing Bobby’s real identity.

“It might be finding a needle in the haystack because prepaid numbers are not registered to the names gyud. But at least identify where these are coming from. Threats are threats, real or not, these are threats. To sow grave threats against any person is already a crime on its own even if they have not done anything to realize their threats,” Oliva said.

While investigation is ongoing, Oliva is asking IBP members to “deal with the threats with sobriety” and to ensure their protection.

Oliva said it is alarming to know that some unscrupulous individuals are trying to monitor the activities of lawyers.  She said that it remains a mystery how Bobby managed to secure the cellphone numbers of his victims.

“The same number has been registered (in the calls received by Lepiten and Mendoza) so it means that they are really targeting Cebuano lawyers. We don’t know how they got the numbers because we don’t give away directories of lawyers,” she added.

However, Oliva does not discount posiblity that Bobby got their numbers from their social media accounts.

“There are several reasons on how they got the number but it’s still alarming because they know that you’re a lawyer. Out of the billions using FB, they know who are the Cebuano lawyers,” she added. | dcb

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TAGS: Atty. Regal Oliva, harassment, IBP Cebu City, Investigation, Kim Grace Mendoza, lawyers, Magdalena Lepiten, NBI

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