KABANKALAN CITY, PHILIPPINES – Terrorists do not always stop with one act: they often follow it up with others that target related individuals.
Lawyers often get a bad rap. While this is not helpful – stereotypes rarely are – it is nonetheless true that some members of the legal profession do are not always the best representatives. They sometimes come across as ‘slimy’, engaging in activities that are either uncalled for or so outlandish that they lend themselves to disbelief and ridicule.
Nevertheless, there are many lawyers who do an amazing job at representing their clients, many of whom are in very dire circumstances and who are simply not qualified to represent themselves in a court of law. As a consequence, victims get the help and support they need and their suffering is alleviated to an extent.
Human rights lawyers are usually in the latter category, dedicating their lives to being there for the underrepresented. And sometimes they pay for their efforts with their lives.
On this day in 2018
Human rights lawyer and activist Benjamin Ramos was shot dead by unknown extremists on motorcycles in Kabankalan City in the Philippines’ Negros Occidental province. His death came less than a month after he helped families of nine farmers who were shot dead by unknown attackers (believed to be from the Revolutionary Proletarian Army – RPA).
We decry this latest incident in a quick succession of violent attacks against lawyers, who are now enveloped in fear as they seek to provide access to justice to their clients.Abdiel Fajardo, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) noted that 34 legal professionals had been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016. Duterte is a real piece of work, to be sure, but the Philippines has been dealing with a terrorist problem, emanating in part from Maoist/Communists and also from jihadis, for decades. This particular attack may have been carried out by any of the above, but at a minimum it does qualify in my mind as an act of terrorism.
Read More Today in Terrorism
On May 31, 1906 a Spanish anarchist threw a bomb hoping to hit King Alfonso XIII, killing 24 and wounding more than 100.
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