Palace condemns killing of lawyer in Abra

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16) – Malacañang has denounced the recent killing of lawyer Maria Saniata Gonzales Alzate, who was shot dead in front of her house in Bangued, Abra.

“We will ensure that our law enforcement agencies will work relentlessly to bring to justice those behind this heinous act,” Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said Saturday in a statement.

In a CCTV footage, the two gunmen fled on a motorcyle after firing multiple shots at Alzate on Thursday.

READ: Lawyer gunned down in Abra 

British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils also expressed concern over the killling of Alzate.

“We urge the Filipino authorities to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice promptly and to create a safe environment for all lawyers,” Beaufils tweeted. “We extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”

Abra Police Director PCol Froiland Lopez earlier urged the public to coordinate with the police for any information regarding the incident.

“It is in the best interest of the government to protect lawyers so they may do their duty of ensuring justice without fear of threats and retaliation especially for those who continue to stand up for the rights and interest of the weak, vulnerable, and marginalised members of the society,” the Commission on Human Rights said in a separate statement.

Alzate was a former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Abra chapter and a commissioner of the Commission on Bar Discipline since 2015.