THE PHILIPPINE’S official organization of lawyers condemned the recent gun attack on the residence of a lawyer in Surigao Del Sur, the latest incidence of violence directed at a member of the legal sector. 

“The threat to a lawyer’s personal safety and life may unduly compromise his zeal in representing his client to the fullest extent under the law,” said the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in a statement issued by its Board of Governors on Feb. 19.

Unidentified assailants opened fire at the vehicle of IBP Surigao del Sur Chapter President Florante T. Sanico, which was parked inside his home. While no injuries were reported, IBP maintained that the attack was a clear message of coercion to an officer of the court.

“Apart from instilling fear and restlessness in the hearts and minds of the family of Atty. Sanico, such scheme clearly undermines the administration of justice, which is one of the hallmarks of our free and civilized society,” IBP said.

The group called on authorities, particularly the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation, to thoroughly investigate the incident and provide the necessary protection to Mr. Sanico and his family. 

“The IBP stands beside Atty. Sanico on his quest to bring the perpetrators to justice and in his fidelity to the oath he gave as a member of the bar,” IBP said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez