A human rights lawyer was shot dead by still unidentified gunmen in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, on Tuesday night.
The National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) identified the victim as Atty. Benjamin Tarug Ramos, 56, who was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital for sustaining three gunshot wounds.
Ramos was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men while taking a break after he had just finished a legal paper for another of his many pro bono clients.
“We are shocked, devastated and enraged at the premeditated cold-blooded murder of our colleague and fellow people’s lawyer, Atty. Benjamin Tarug Ramos, our secretary general for the NUPL Negros Occidental Chapter,” the group said in a statement.
Ramos was the 34th lawyer killed during the Duterte administration.
Meanwhile, the group said NUPL lawyers have also been receiving threats for handling cases of political prisoners, suspected rebels, environmentalists and suspected drug users who are poor.
“The NUPL and its key officers have themselves been increasingly labelled and branded pejoratively by the police, military, vigilantes, some bigoted columnists and online trolls, in open contempt of basic principles of the role of lawyers in society,” it said.