MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will join the hunt for justice for slain lawyer Juan Macababbad of South Cotabato.
The office of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra released late Monday afternoon Department Order No. 222 directing NBI Officer-In-Charge Eric Distor “to conduct an investigation and case build-up” on Macababbad’s death.
The 68-year-old lawyer was gunned down in front of his house in Barangay Poblacion, Surallah, South Cotabato on Sept. 15.
He had been reportedly receiving death threats before the incident.
The human rights lawyer usually handled cases of farmers, fisherfolk, informal settlers, and victims of alleged extra-judicial killings.
Public viewing is scheduled until Sept. 23 at his residence while interment will be at Koronadal Valley Eternal Garden the following day.
“We request that families, friends, and colleagues who will attend the wake should strictly observe health guidelines and protocols. Let us be vigilant in keeping everyone’s health and safety a priority. We also ask that those who have health vulnerabilities to just stay at home. Your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated,” the family posted on Facebook on Sunday.
Macababbad’s fraternity brothers from the Ateneo Law School-based Fraternal Order of Utopia also urged a thorough investigation of the crime.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines–South Cotabato and General Santos City chapter said in a statement that Macababbad was a
fatherly colleague and a fierce advocate of justice and civil rights.
“These attacks must end,” the group said while calling on authorities for a “fair, full, and speedy investigation”. (PNA)