Prosecutors' group deplores murder of colleague

July 10, 2020
Jovencio Senados
Members of the Prosecutors League of Manila hold a demonstration at the Manila City Hall to protest and seek justice for the ambush-slay of their colleague.

THE Prosecutors' League of Manila yesterday condemned the murder slayof Chief Inquest Officer Jovencio Senados last Tuesday morning in Paco, Manila.

The group's officers and members wore black and peacefully marched from their offices in the Manila City Hall to the nearby Bonifacio Shrine.

In a statement, the group likened the recent killing of Senados "as an assault to rule of law and to the entire legal community as well."

The group called on the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to expedite their investigation and bring the perpetrators behind Senados' murder to the bar of justice.

"The Prosecutor's League of Manila strongly condemns the despicable and cowardly act of murder of our beloved colleague... The killing of Chief Senado's is not only an assault to a hard-working, brilliant, and dedicated public servant who devoted decades of his life to public service but also an assault to rule of law. This attack against a prosecutors as all previous senseless killings of prosecutors, judges, and lawyers who are the pillars of our justice system, is an attack against the entire legal community.  We urge the PNP and NBI to conduct a thorough investigation, urgently solve this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice," the group said in a statement.

On Thursday, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that Senados may have crossed paths with dangerous individuals in Manila which led to his murder last Tuesday morning.

"As chief of the inquest division of OCP (Office of the City Prosecutor) in Manila, he had probably handled hazardous cases that had placed his personal security at great risk," Guevarra said.

Guevarra ordered the NBI to conduct a case-build up, and if evidence warrants, file the appropriate charges against anyone involved in the killing.

Senados, 62, of B53 L19 Villa Palao Banli in Calamba, Laguna, was on his way to work when he was gunned down at the Quirino Highway and Anakbayan Street in Paco by unidentified armed suspects on board a black SUV with plate number ABG 8133.

Police investigators are still determining the motive behind the killing.

Meanwhile, Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles, a stalwart of Lakas-CMD also decried the killing of Senados, the 50th victim of deadly attacks on law practitioners since 2016.

Nograles, a lawyer by profession, underscored the need to create a special task force composed of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) to address the murders.

“I urge our authorities to exhaust all means to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. We cannot allow such blatant disregard of our laws,” Nograles, vice-chair of the House committee on justice, said.

House Resolution No. 185, filed by Nograles is still pending in the House of Representatives, which called for an inquiry into the deaths of law practitioners.

The resolution also calls for a creation of a special task force that would enforce legal action to bring those accountable for the deaths to justice.

He said that the murder of lawyers, prosecutors, and judges has a chilling effect on the proper dispensation of justice in the country.

With Jester Manalastas