At around 7:30 o’clock this morning, an unidentified gunman onboard a motorcycle shot three times at close range Atty. Donasco, who was then inside his pick-up vehicle that was parked along Candelaria Street, Ecoland, Davao City, in front of the Benigno Aquino Hall of Justice, and a few meters away from the PNP Crime Laboratory and Highway Patrol Group. Luckily, Atty. Donasco survived the attack. He was not hit, but he suffered minor injuries caused by the shattered left front door glass of his vehicle.

This incident is highly alarming as it happened only two days after Atty. Connie Villamor was murdered in broad daylight in Tagum City. The brazenness of the attack done in broad daylight near the Hall of Justice and police offices makes the incident even more alarming.

In our democratic society where our rights and obligations are determined in accordance with established rules, we need lawyers, who know the law and its intricacies, to enforce our rights or defend us against any violation of our rights.

We, lawyers, have the duty to resolutely pursue the interests of our clients, within the bounds of the rules, and to the best of our abilities. We need an environment that is conducive for legal practice—an environment where we only worry about the results of the cases we handle for our clients, and not about our safety or security or that of our loved ones.

We thus call on police authorities to investigate with dispatch the said murder attempt on the life of Atty. Donasco. Nothing less than the identification and prosecution of the gunman and his principals could allay the fears of lawyers for their lives as they continue to advocate for the cause of their clients.

We also reiterate our call for the public’s understanding of the role of lawyers in our civilized and democratic society, and for all lawyers to remain steadfast and committed to our duty to help dispense justice despite the perils associated with the exercise of our profession.

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