- Eastern Visayas lawyers lament the death of their colleague, Rogelio Bato Jr. on Tuesday, August 23
- In a statement released by the former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines' (IBP) Leyte chapter, Alberto Hidalgo, he called on to his fellow lawyers to mourn Bato's death
- According to Hidalgo, this event is a serious affront to the law profession
Eastern Visayas lawyers, on Tuesday, August 23, laments and condemn the shooting and the death of their colleague, Rogelio Bato Jr. along with a 15-year old girl in Tacloban.
The former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines' (IBP) Leyte chapter, Alberto Hidalgo, called out to fellow lawyers and members of the same group for solidarity and to mourn the affront to the law profession. To show support to this endeavor, he called on to his fellow lawyers to wear black armbands in court until the interment day of lawyer Bato.
"We seek the cooperation of all law offices and courts, to allow lawyers to mourn, to show solidarity with the bereaved, and to show our total condemnation of this serious affront to our legal system, legal processes, and law profession," Hidalgo says.
He also added a warning for the rest of the citizenry, saying, "'Today it is Attorney Bato. Tomorrow it might be you or your loved one. Let us not be silent."
Bato and a high school student currently identified as Angelica Bonita were shot dead by unidentified gunmen riding a white van without a plate number. The two were killed at around 2:20 pm in Barangay Lumbang 2 in Tacloban.
According to Hidalgo, pressure needs to be applied for a "thorough" investigation of the case by the "responsible state organs" and proceeded to pose a challenge to the government.
To conclude his statement, Hidalgo had said, "I challenge the government to thoroughly investigate this criminal incident and come up with a factual and credible result and show to the Filipino people that it is not involved in this extrajudicial killings."
Rogelio Bato Jr. is the counsel of drug-linked Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa. Espinosa is suspected of drug trafficking and coddling drug lords after P1.9-million worth of shabu was found in a tennis court near his home on July 28.