Davao lawyer shot dead

By Adam B. Morrell and Leebai Sinsuat Ambolodto

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) condemned the treacherous killing of Rex Jasper Lopoz, who was gunned down by skilled assassins late Wednesday, March 13 in front of a shopping mall in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

A statement released March 13, signed by IBP National President Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo said: “His (Lopoz) death marks the most recent in a quick succession of violent attacks against lawyers, judges and prosecutors. We are almost losing count, but there have been thirty-eight (38) such reported killings since Atty. Rogelio Bato, Jr. was killed by unidentified gunmen in Tacloban, Leyte on August 23, 2016.”

IBP calls on the police and investigative authorities to solve these cases with real sense of duty and dispatch.

“Lawyers, prosecutors, and judges are being targeted with surging frequency and impunity. Atty Lopoz’s killing closely follows the assassination of Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro in Cebu City last January 17, 2019, and the abduction of lawyer Alwyn Mendoza in Nueva Ecija last February 23, 2019”

“This series of unsolved crimes against lawyers has germinated a dark halo of fear that has paralyzed the most important pillars of the justice system,” said Fajardo, adding “Murder and other forms of mindless violence have no place in civilized society.”

Lopoz, dead at 42, is a member of IBP Davao del Norte Chapter.

Sources said Lopoz died upon arrival in the nearest hospital due to bullet wound in the back.

Rex’s older brother Dexter, a former legislator in Compostela Valley, changed his profile picture in Facebook shortly after the gunning incident with a caption: “Just an hour ago, they killed my younger brother. Gunshots to his back. Dead on arrival at the hospital.”

The late lawyer’s remains lie in state in their home in Purok 9, Poblacion, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley.