The social action branch of the Catholic Church deplored the murder of human rights lawyer Juan Macababbad in southern Cotabato on September 15.
Caritas Philippines said that “outrage is not enough” to describe how they feel about the “horrific” murder of Macababbad, who is a “champion of social justice”.
“For many of us in Mindanao, his brutal assassination leaves us with deep sorrow for Atty. Macababbad is no ordinary lawyer, ”he said in a statement.
The national Caritas office has said Macababbad is someone to turn to when no lawyer takes a farmer’s case against landlords and large businesses.
He also said his free legal services for vulnerable people “are the pillars of hope for most indigenous peoples struggling against the very tyranny of state forces.”
“The rural poor in the South take courage in his presence,” according to Caritas Philippines.
“His savage death meant an indefinite delay in the access of the poor to justice, peace and freedom,” he added.
The lawyer was shot dead by two assailants outside his residence in the city of Surallah.
He was vice-president of the Union of People’s Advocates in Mindanao (UPLM).
The UPLM said Macababbad is the 58th lawyer killed during President Duterte’s administration.
Caritas said it will work with everyone to seek justice for the lawyer and those who died defending people and nature.
“We will push even harder for accountability, especially of those in power,” he said. “We pray for every human rights defender. We pray for justice and peace.
Aimee Yeo / CBCP News
Image courtesy of Atty. Macababbad Facebook