IBP-Davao condemns shooting of lawyer by motorcycle-riding gunman

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 Sep) – The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Davao Chapter expressed alarm over a gunman’s failed attempt to kill a lawyer in front of the Hall of Justice here Wednesday morning, two days after a similar incident occurred in broad daylight in Tagum City.

The location where private law practitioner Wilmer Q. Donasco was shot was also near the police’s Regional Crime Laboratory along Candelaria St. in Ecoland.

IBP-Davao president Rogelio Largo said in a statement that the brazenness of the attack “makes the incident even more alarming” and called on authorities to investigate the murder attempt against the 44-year old lawyer.

“Nothing less than the identification and prosecution of the gunman and his principals could allay the fears of lawyers for their lives as they continue to advocate for the cause of their clients,” he said.

Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 spokesperson, said the motorcycle-riding gunman missed his target but Donasco nevertheless suffered minor injuries caused by the shattered window glass of his vehicle.

She said Donasco was parking his Chevrolet pickup truck when the assailant shot at him twice. Authorities are still conducting an investigation to determine the motive of the shooting.

On Monday, lawyer Connie Villamor was driving her black Subaro Forester XT when another gunman on a motorcycle shot her along Apokon National Highway in Tagum City at 8:30 a.m..

Driz said police suspected that the motive for the killing could be personal grudge or work-related.

Largo said the lawyers need an environment conducive for legal practice as they undertake their duty to “resolutely pursue the interests of our clients, within the bounds of the rules, and to the best of our abilities.”

“We need an environment that is conducive for legal practice – an environment where we only worry about the results of the cases we handle for our clients, and not about our safety or security or that of our loved ones,” he said.

Largo said the functions of the lawyers in a democratic society are important to enforce the people’s rights and defend them from any violation of their rights.

“In our democratic society where our rights and obligations are determined in accordance with established rules, we need lawyers who know the law and its intricacies, to enforce our rights or defend us against any violation of our rights,” he added.

Largo called for the public’s understanding of the role of lawyers in the civilized and democratic society and encouraged the lawyers to “remain steadfast and committed to our duty to help dispense justice despite the perils associated with the exercise of our profession.” (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)