Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon on Thursday condemned the killing of human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos, who was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men late Tuesday.
“I condemn in the strongest term the killing of Atty. Ramos. He is a great loss to the legal profession and the Filipino people, especially the oppressed whose rights he had bravely fought for all his life,” Drilon said in a statement.
“It is very alarming and deplorable. Atty. Ramos’ gruesome death and the previous attacks against other lawyers are inevitably sending a frightening signal to the legal profession,” Drilon said.
Ramos was an activist lawyer and a founding member of the National Union of People’s Lawyer (NUPL). He was reportedly the 34th lawyer killed in just two years of the Duterte administration.
It was Ramos who courageously took up the case of nine sugar workers who were killed in Negros Occidental province. Earlier, the Senate minority has called for an immediate Senate investigation into the killings of nine sugarcane farmers in Sagay City, Negros Occidental not only to bring to justice the real masterminds but also to address the pitiful plight of ordinary farmers.
“That is worrisome. Who is safe now?” asked Drilon, adding that, “if these killings do not stop and the perpetrators are not immediately brought to court, it will be detrimental to the rule of law.”
Drilon thus called upon the authorities and the Department of Justice to do everything to bring the perpetrators to justice in the swiftest possible time.
“It is imperative that a thorough investigation is launched in order to determine the motive behind the killing and identify those responsible for the killing,” the senator said.
“We must not let the culture of impunity to continue to prevail over the rule of law and our justice system. We can only do that if these killings are resolved and prevented. The police must have realized this now,” he added.