By Victor Reyes and Ashzel Hachero
A LAWYER on his way to a hearing was shot dead by two unidentified suspects in Narra town in Palawan yesterday morning, the 52nd member of the legal profession killed in the country since 2016.
MIMAROPA Regional Police spokesman Lt. Col. Imelda Tolentino identified the fatality as Atty. Eric Jay Aston Magcamit, a resident of Puerto Princesa City.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to assist the PNP in investigating the killing Magcamit.
“We will let the local police do the initial investigation and gather some facts but I have directed the NBI to stand by to render assistance, if necessary,” Guevarra said.
Tolentino said the attack occurred at around 6:46 a.m. at Sitio Caraniogan, National Highway in Barangay Malinao, Narra. Tolentino said Magcamit was aboard his Toyota Innova when he was flagged down by two suspects.
When Magcamit alighted from his vehicle, he was repeatedly shot and died instantly. He sustained two gunshot wounds in his right cheek and one on his leg.
Slugs of cal.45 pistols were recovered from the scene.
“We have dash cam footage of the two male suspects. We are also searching CCTVs (close circuit televisions) along the route to and from the crime scene for clearer images,” Tolentino said.
Before the attack, Tolentino said Magcamit informed his wife that “he was being followed on several occasions by a vehicle.”
“This angle is being pursued by our investigators. The strongest motive work – related issues,” added Tolentino.
Atty. Richalex Jagmis, president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Palawan, condemned the killing of Magcamit, saying: “It is our consistent stand that violence has no place in this civilized society, especially against those in the legal profession who are courageously helping in the administration of justice.
“This tragic incident is not only an attack to a member of the IBP but also an attack to the legal order and justice system by means of fear and violence. The perpetrators must be swiftly brought into the hands of the law by those in authority,” Jagmis said.