Family seeks justice for lawyer’s death

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The family of lawyer Anthony Trinidad appealed to the government to help them seek justice for his death and put the perpetrators behind jail the soonest possible time.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Trinidad’s sister Andrea said “we are still at a loss on the motives behind this dastardly act because our brother was such a kind-hearted, soft-spoken person who was willing to go out of his way to help people in need.”

According to Andrea, her brother was killed in an ambush while on his way home from a court hearing. His wife, Novie Marie, who was with him, was wounded and still recuperating at the hospital.

“The incident happened in broad daylight along the national highway of our hometown, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental,” Andrea said in behalf of the family.

“We do not want to speculate on the motives behind his death nor who the perpetrators are. We leave it to authorities to do their job,” she added.

Andrea also called for the culture of violence and spate of killings in the country to stop.

“We cannot and should not constantly live in fear. Stop the killings,” she said.

Police Executive Master Sergeant Jerome Delara, investigator, said Trinidad was shot at close range by unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants.

Delara said they have yet to determine if the killing was related to his profession or personal.

“We are exploring all angles and still at the process of collecting evidence to determine the motive behind the killing,” he added.

Police are also not discounting the possibility that Trinidad was gunned down by the New People’s Army (NPA), because he handed civil cases on land dispute and other crimes.

Meanwhile, the San Carlos Diocese in Negros slammed the killing of the said lawyer.

In a press statement issued yesterday, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said “the ambience of fear and violence must end. Our people are longing for an end of barbaric killings due to the drug war and the anti-insurgency campaign.”

“End the killings!” is the collective cry among us here living in the Negros island. This is an appeal not only of families of farmers, activists, lawyers, rebels, soldiers, police whose family member has become a victim of summary execution; but also, of the ordinary citizens who are longing for peace, Alminaza said.

Alminaza said peace cannot be achieved by guns or by killing fellow Filipinos.

Alminaza reiterated their call for the need to achieve an “integral climate of peace in the Island of Negros.”

”We reiterate the call for integral peace — one that addresses social injustice and promotes economic equality and inclusive development for all.  We believe that integral peace benefits the country and the future generation,” he said.

There is a need to resolve issues, advance a common dream for integral peace, and resume the peace negotiations. While there were already attempts of developing an achievable peace agreement, both sides have to return to the negotiating table. Peace cannot be achieved through a one-sided or any militarist approach, the bishop said.

Alminaza said they are also offering prayers for the lawyer’s death, as they join the call for justice of his death.