SIGMA, Capiz - A member of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) and her two companions survived an attack in Sigma town, Capiz Monday.
Atty. Criselda Heredia was travelling on her vehicle with her child and client, Jimmy Dordas, when they were fired upon by motocycle-riding gunmen.
"Duha ka motor and then nakita ko, isa and then ang nakita sang sa pihak isa," Heredia said.
(There were two motorcycles. One was riding the other and another on a separate motorcycle.)
Heredia and her child were not injured but one bullet grazed the skin of her client, Dordas, who is a member of the military.
Heredia condemned the incident, saying the attack happened due to a culture of impunity in the country.
“Even then, kung ano man, panan-awan ko muni. Tungod sang culture sang impunity nga nagakatabo subong, ining mga lawyers nga ni who are doing their job they are being killed for just doing their job. And it happens because of the culture of impunity nga everyday may killing nalang gid ya,” Heredia said.
(Even then my perception is this. Because of the culture of impunity happening these times, the lawyers who are just doing their job, they are being killed for just doing their job. It happens because of the culture of impunity that every day, there are killings.)
Heredia believes the possible motive behind the ambush is related to her work because her client is involved in a land dispute case against a retired police officer.
Heredia confirmed that her client has received death threats over the land dispute case. However, she is not certain as to who the target of the gunmen was.
Aside from being a member of the NUPL and a human rights lawyer, Heredia is also a legal consultant for peace talks.