Lawyer killed in front of Pampanga church

Lian Buan
Lawyer killed in front of Pampanga church
Police say lawyer Anselmo Carlos and his driver Marcial Mendoza were killed by 3 motorcycle-riding men in front of the San Vicente Parish Church in Sta Rita, Pampanga

MANILA, Philippines – Motorcycle-riding gunmen killed a lawyer and his driver in front of a church in Sta Rita town in Pampanga on Tuesday, January 28.

Anselmo Carlos became the 46th member of the legal profession to be killed under the Duterte administration. His driver, Marcial Mendoza, was also killed in the Tuesday morning attack.

According to a Sta Rita police spot report, the 3 suspects – all on a single motorcycle – shot Carlos and Mendoza who were in a Toyota Camry in front of the San Vicente Parish Church in Sta Rita at 9 am on Tuesday. 

“Unidentified male suspects…shot the victims on [their] neck, head, and chest using caliber .45,” said the spot report prepared by Police Captain Renemer James Pornia.

Carlos is the 29th lawyer killed in the Duterte administration, and the 46th in total in the legal profession, including prosecutors and judges.

In March 2019, an international delegation of lawyers went on a fact-finding mission in the country to probe the killings of lawyers, and concluded that the government has not done an effective investigation into the killings.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the Department of Justice (DOJ) will step in if there would be indications that any of the killings fall under Administrative Order No. 35, which the secretary said is focused on “extrajudicial killings (EJKs) arising from certain advocacies.”

“We will initially let the Philippine National Police take the lead in investigating this latest incident, but if there are any indications that the case falls under AO 35, the DOJ will create a special investigating team,” Guevarra told reporters. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.