Abra governor, IBP condemn killing of lawyer

Sherwin de Vera

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Abra governor, IBP condemn killing of lawyer


The victim was the lawyer who, in February, secured a favorable ruling on a petition for the protection of a woman and her son from the police in Bangued

BAGUIO, Philippines – The governor of Abra and Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) have condemned the murder of a prominent lawyer in Bangued town, the province’s capital, on Thursday, September 14.

“We strongly condemn the merciless killing of Atty. Ma. Saniata Liwliwa Gonzales Alzate, a strong-willed lawyer, a defender of those in need, and a friend to many, who was shot to death… by men who have not yet been identified,” read Abra Governor Dominic Valera’s statement.

The victim was the wife of former Regional Trial Court judge Raphiel Alzate, and former president of IBP-Abra and chair of its legal aid committee.

Alzate was the lawyer who, in February, secured a favorable ruling on a petition for a Writ of Amparo for the protection of a woman and her son.

Abra Judge Bonhoffer Bernardez ordered the police to stay away from Remedios Billedo, and her son Excel, who was allegedly abducted, detained, and tortured by authorities in Bangued.

A gunman shot Alzate several times at close range while she was inside her parked car in front of her home on Santiago Street, Zone 3 in Bangued.

The assailant fled with a companion on a motorcycle.

“I urge law enforcement for a speedy investigation of the killing of Atty. Alzate and for the immediate resolution of this case,” Valera said.

He also urged those with useful information to help identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

In separate statements, the Northern Luzon formation and the La Union chapter of the IBP also expressed grief and condemnation over the killing of their colleague.

They also called on authorities to speed up their work and arrest the suspects.

IBP La Union said Alzate was “a brilliant legal aid [and] public interest case lawyer,” while its Northern Luzon body described her as “a strongly principled lady lawyer and an epitome of valor, [who] readily heeded the call for help of the underprivileged, oppressed, and downtrodden.” – Rappler.com

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