The Surigao del Norte chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said its members have decided to withdraw their representation on drug cases to protest the killing of retired Surigao city judge Victor Canoy and the slay attempt on Surigao city prosecutor Manuel Tesiorna .
In a statement, Atty. Noel Pangilinan, president of IBP-Surigao del Norte, said they arrived at such decision to call the attention of the authorities to the threats hounding lawyers who were handling drug-related cases in the province.
“We withdraw our representation from all drug cases starting today until all perpetrators are apprehended. We will not be able to do our jobs if our lives and the lives of our families are in peril,” Pangilinan said.
“We are protesting the shallow understanding of the legal process, which prompted the accusation of our colleagues as alleged drug coddlers and protectors because of the drug cases that have been dismissed in their respective officers,” he added.
Until all perpetrators behind the twin attacks are put behind bars, the group said private lawyers , judges and prosecutor-members of the IBP would continue to do so.
Last February 2, Canoy, 70, former judge of Branch 29 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Surigao City was shot dead by riding-in-tandem suspects while buying food at an eatery near his law office along Borja Street.
Four days after, another motorcycle-riding gunman shot Tesiorna outside the gate of his house in Canlanipa Homes, while he was washing his car on Monday morning Feb. 6.
Tesiorna, who was shot in the chest, neck and back remains in critical condition.
Senior Supt. Anthony Maghari, provincial police director of Surigao del Norte, said citing result of initial investigations, it was unlikely that one group was involved in the Canoy and Tesiorna’s shooting. By CL