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Do justice without delay

A press statement by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines on the slaying of Atty. Eric Jay Magcamit of Palawan
November 26, 2020

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines welcomes the filing of criminal charges against the suspects in the slaying of Atty. Eric Jay Magcamit of Palawan.

IBP leaders at the national and provincial levels and his brother- lawyers have been quietly in touch with his bereaved family and have coordinated with intelligence, law enforcement, investigation, and prosecution agencies under our Lawyer Security Program. Within a week, the suspected killers and their cohorts were identified, arrested, and charged. We appreciate and commend the swift action and all those who helped bring the suspected murderers before the bar of justice. We are working for similar results in the more recent killing of Atty. Joey Luis Wee in Cebu City.

Beyond the consistent condemnation and justified outrage, we must act resolutely on lawyer-killings because violence against judges, prosecutors, lawyers and our fellow-workers in the justice sector mocks and erodes the rule of law. For if those who administer justice are themselves killed with impunity, how can the ordinary citizen believe in due process or feel safe and secure?

There are other lawyer-killings that remain unsolved by law enforcers or unresolved in the courts of law. We share the fear and frustrations of many about the brazen violence, continuing criminality and appalling impunity in our country. Justice is distant and delayed for too many victims. Since lawyers administer the justice system and occupy key positions in government, we must humbly recognize our individual and collective responsibility and shortcomings so that we may courageously do JUSTICE WITHOUT DELAY. Let us promptly finish the long-pending cases, pass the much-needed remedial laws and rules, enforce the law fairly and without favor. Accountability and “justice bilis” are long-term and sustainable solutions to our nation’s dilemma.

As Filipino lawyers do their sworn duty, we seek the vigilance, cooperation, and involvement of all sectors. Justice, and ultimately peace, are everyone’s business.

Atty. Domingo Egon Q. Cayosa
National President and Chairman of the 24th Board of Governors
Integrated Bar of the Philippines