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Justice Secretary orders NBI to probe the killing of a human rights lawyer in SoCot

SOUTH COTABATO – Secretary Menardo Guevarra of the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to probe and give justice on the recent killing of a human rights lawyer in this province.



Lawyer Juan Macababbad, 68, was killed by an unidentified assassin last September 15, this year, in front of his residence in Barangay Poblacion, Surallah, this province.



The police are ‘still facing a blank wall’ as the identities of the assassin and the mastermind behind the killing of the human rights lawyer, it was learned.



Initial investigation, however, disclosed that prior to the killing, the lawyer had reportedly been receiving death threats.



The office of Secretary Guevarra yesterday issued Department Order No. 222, directing the National Bureau of Investigation Officer-In-Charge Eric Distor to start a case build up and thoroughly conduct ‘no-nonsense’ investigation on the killing of Atty Macababbad.



According to the report, the lawyer has been handling cases for farmers, fisherfolk, informal settlers, and victims of alleged extra-judicial killings.



The human rights lawyer usually handled cases of farmers, fisherfolk, informal settlers, and victims of alleged extra-judicial killings.



The immediate family of the slain lawyer also announced yesterday that the public viewing is scheduled on September 23 at his residence, and the interment will be held the following day at Koronadal Valley Eternal Garden.



“We request that families, friends, and colleagues who will attend the wake should strictly observe health guidelines and protocols. Let us be vigilant in keeping everyone’s health and safety a priority. We also ask those who have health vulnerabilities to just stay at home. Your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated,” the family posted on social media.



Meanwhile, the lawyer’s fraternity and sorority colleagues from Ateneo Law School’s Fraternal Order of Utopia appealed for a speedy resolution of the crime.



The lawyer’s national organization, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), General Santos City and South Cotabato chapter also said in a statement that the late lawyer was a fierce advocate of justice and civil rights, and he was also a good father to his family. – PNA

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