In light of a spate of assassinations of prosecutors across the country, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has urged prosecutors to coordinate with law enforcement agencies in crafting measures that would protect them and their families.

In a speech at the 31st Annual Convention of the Prosecutors’ League of the Philippines held in Puerto Princesa City on Thursday, April 4, Mr. Duterte noted that there have been “assassinations of prosecutors across the country.”

He said that law enforcement agencies have been ordered to expedite the investigation of all these assassinations.

“I also encourage the leadership of the Prosecutors’ League to work with the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the other relevant agencies to come up with solutions on how to better protect our prosecutors and [their] families,’ the President said.

He further said that he would welcome suggestions that aim to protect them.

“Options, all, are on the table. Anong gusto ninyo? Baril? (What do you want? Guns?) I will allow it,” he said.

“Kung kaso lang na sa trabaho ninyo (If cases are filed against you for doing your job), I will do everything to protect you. Kagaya rin ng pulis na ano… (Just like the police) Bakit — bakit ka magkulong? (Why should get jailed?) Why do you suffer for doing your duty?” he added.

Mr. Duterte also acknowledged the importance of their role in the administration of justice.

“As a former prosecutor, I understand the very important role that you play in the administration of justice, which unfortunately involves antagonizing lawless elements, hardened criminals, and their powerful backers,” he said.

“With the valuable help of the Prosecutors’ League, I am confident that we can further strengthen, improve, and reform the entire National Prosecution Service so that you may all become efficient, credible, impartial, and incorruptible prosecutors upon whom our people may depend on whenever they feel wronged or aggrieved,” the President said further. — Arjay L. Balinbin