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Philippines : Assassination of lawyer Eric Jay Magcamit

17 November 2020


Eric Jay Magcamit, a 35-year-old lawyer in the Philippines, was shot dead on 17 November while on his way to a hearing in Quezon, Palawan province.

Eric Jay Magcamit was a general practitioner who also worked on electoral and immigration litigation cases.

According to a report from the Palawan provincial police office, the incident occurred at 6:46 a.m. while the lawyer was travelling from Puerto Princesa to Quezon. A witness stated that the lawyer’s vehicle was stopped by two unidentified persons who made him get out of his vehicle before shooting him.

The OIAD is particularly concerned about this new killing of a lawyer in the Philippines. Indeed, Mr. Magcamit is the 52nd lawyer assassinated in the Philippines since the inauguration of President Duterte on 30 June 2016. Thus, human rights lawyers Ben Ramos and Anthony Trinidad had been killed by tandems of motorbike gunmen on the island of Negros in 2018 and 2019.

The OIAD is gravely concerned by the wave of assassinations of which lawyers have been victims for several years.

The OIAD would like to extend its deepest condolences to the family of Eric Jay Magcamit and to the legal community in the Philippines.

The OIAD calls on the Philippine authorities to do their utmost to investigate the assassination of this lawyer in an impartial and transparent manner.

The OIAD also calls on the Philippine authorities to respect the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers (1990) in order to guarantee the safety and physical integrity of lawyers, including through the establishment of appropriate protective measures:

Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities.” (Principle No. 17).