Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the bombing of a lawyer’s car in Davao City

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the bombing of a lawyer’s car in Davao City

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Region XI is conducting an independent probe on the bombing of the parked car of lawyer Alberto Magulta outside his law office at One Oasis Condominium along Ecoland Drive in Davao City.

Based on the investigation of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), the Honda CRV of Atty. Magulta exploded a few minutes after he parked his vehicle at around 9:30 AM on 15 June 2023. Atty. Magulta was unharmed as he already entered his office during the explosion. A closed-circuit television footage showed two men attaching an object under the car prior to the explosion. The lawyer also allegedly received death threats in relation to “high-profile cases” he is handling. The police views the incident as an act of harassment and has ruled out terrorism.

CHR acknowledges the immediate action of the DCPO to form a special investigation task group to investigate the incident and their efforts to tighten security in the city. We are hopeful that this fervent pursuit will result to swift justice to ensure accountability on this latest case of harassment against a lawyer.

The Commission continues to denounce all acts of harassment and violence against lawyers and those working for justice. We reiterate the significance of independent legal professionals in ensuring human rights protection, basic freedom, and serving the ends of justice as underscored in The Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, an output of the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in 1990.

No case of harassment, intimidation, and violence against legal professionals must be left unresolved to ensure an enabling and safe environment for those working for justice. This case is another reminder of the continuing need to ensure greater protection for lawyers and all agents of the law, who are crucial to a functional justice system and in the protection of human rights. ###