Atty. John Mark Espera. Senseless death
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) joins its Iloilo Chapter in condemning the senseless murder of an esteemed colleague in the legal profession, Atty. John Mark Espera.
Atty. Ruby Espera, widow of the victim, thanking sympathizers.
He was gunned down 11:30 am, yesterday, August 31, in Brgy. Pu-ao, Hamtic town, Antique. The police recovered spent shells from several firearms at the scene of the crime, some 20 meters from the residence of principal suspect Police Officer 3 Jose Suarez assigned at the Tobias Fornier Police Station, Antique.
NUPL lawyers, from left to right: Atty. Sarah Villamor, Alfonso Cinco IV, and Atty. Edre Olalia. Two others are at the background, Atty. Sol Gamusa (partially covered by Cinco), and Atty. Janne Baterna (partially covered by Olalia).
Suarez surrendered but the police is still hunting for his younger brother Rico and a cousin, also suspects in the killings, which based on the number of empty shells recovered at the scene, suggested that they must have ambushed their victim.
Atty. Espera, 39, could have a bright future had not for the attack that snuffed out his young life. He was an allied lawyer and also an active defender of the rights of political detainees.
The killing is a chilling reminder how cheap life is, even that of a lawyer, nowadays and, worse, perpetrated as it is by a police officer who is duty-sworn to protect lives and properties.
Whaterver the ultimate reason and motive to be uncovered for this senseless cold-blooded murder, there are indications that this may be an attack on him by virtue of the exercise of his profession. In any case, this is unacceptable in any cvilized society.
We call on the authorities to throroughly investigate, arrest the culprits and immediately file appropriate criminal charges against them.
We join those calling for justice for Atty. John Mark Espera as well as for all lawyers being attacked.
Edre U. OlaliaSecretary General09175113373
NUPL statement on the Murder of Antique Lawyer John Mark Espera