Slain Tagum lawyer was victim of impunity, says brother

Slain Tagum lawyer was victim of impunity, says brother

DAVAO CITY — The elder brother of lawyer Rex Jasper Lopoz, who was slain last Wednesday in Tagum City, Davao del Norte by unidentified gunmen, said the slain lawyer was a victim of impunity spawned by the government’s war on drugs.

Arvin Dexter Lopoz, a lawyer and a former provincial legislator in Compostela Valley, made this claim last Wednesday, hours after he learned about the death of his brother.

“Just an hour ago, they killed my younger brother,” the lawyer posted on his Facebook. “Dead on arrival at the hospital … Killed in the Duterte Drug War. Summarily killed. Again, by riding-in-tandem killers.”

He said the family lost through summary killings two lawyers who fought for and helped the poor under this present administration.

Lawyer Rolando Lopoz Acido, a cousin, was murdered by riding-in-tandem in front of Mati City Hall of Justice in Dahican in October 2016.

“He was a former DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) lawyer who served the poorest of farmers in Davao Oriental, at times even spending his own money for the cases of his clients. Once appointed as a government prosecutor, he resisted pressures and intervention even from government officials,” Dexter said, describing Acido, who was a former City Prosecutor of Mati City, Davao Oriental.

Dexter said Acido was the favorite cousin of his slain younger brother lawyer.

“My brother was no saint. But he was never violent and never trampled upon the rights of others,” he added.