The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) condemns the attempt on the life of its assistant vice president for Visayas, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen, tonight, March 3, in Iloilo City. Reports stated that two unidentified men stabbed Atty. Guillen in the head and shoulder.
Atty. Guillen serves as counsel in various public interest and human rights cases such as one of the 37 petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. He also represents activists and human rights defenders facing trumped up charges in court including the activists arrested during the police raids in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental in October 2019 and the Tumandoks arrested in Panay in December 2020. On Labor Day last year, he was arrested after responding to the illegal arrest of 42 activists who were protesting the extrajudicial killing of Bayan Muna Iloilo coordinator Jory Porquia.
NUPL calls on authorities to promptly and properly investigate the attempt on the life of Atty. Guillen. Since June 2016, NUPL has recorded at least 54 killings of lawyers and judges that are prima facie related their work. In December 2020, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, NUPL, and various legal groups raised concerns over the increasing and alarming incidents of attacks on lawyers before the Supreme Court.
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook, 03/03/21
NUPL PANAY LAW STUDENTS’ STATEMENT
To condemn to the strongest possible terms will never be enough to express our indignation to the evil, barbaric, heinous, and cowardly act perpetrated against Atty. Angelo Karlo (AK) Guillen in the street named after a brave General of the Philippine Revolution, Gen. Luna St. in Iloilo City. Atty. AK was stabbed in the head and back this evening by two men wearing facemasks and caps.
Atty. Guillen is the Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Panay and is holding a number of political cases, the latest of which is that of the Tumandok charged by trumped-up cases on December 30, 2020.
Atty. Guillen is a peoples’ lawyer who defend the rights of the people, the workers, farmers, indigenous people, and marginalized groups against the weaponization of the law to oppress. He applies his legal knowledge not for gain for himself, but for the benefit of his clients. He stands up for his clients notwithstanding the danger, harassment, and red-tagging against him. The masterminds and conspirators behind this dastardly act may make it appear that this is a petty crime committed using a screw driver by henchmen of evil, but we know better than to be fooled. The attack on Atty. Guillen should be seen in the context of systematic, continuing, and increasing attacks on human rights and human rights defenders. Atty. Guillen has been redtagged for several times just like other peoples’ lawyers and human rights defenders who were tagged as “terrorists” or “communists” and were subsequently attacked and harassed.
For these barbaric acts to happen in a country that calls itself a democracy is beyond shame. Violence has been the front page of news. Just days ago, Julie Catamin, the Barangay Captain of Roosevelt, Tapaz, Capiz, was murdered. Prior to that incident, she was able to reveal in her Facebook post an irregular performance of duty of law enforcers in the operation which killed 9 Tumandoks and arrested 16 others. In the background of this are taxpayer-funded machineries and agencies that baselessly redtag individuals and groups without regard to dark and evil consequences it may produce.
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers – Panay Law Students is one with the community in strongly condemning the attack on Atty. Guillen. We call for the immediate investigation, apprehension, and prosecution of the criminals behind the dastardly act committed against Atty. Guillen. We call to stop the attacks to the legal profession and to its members.
The danger is here and it is clear and present.Hold tight, Atty. AK. Your brave clients are waiting for their brave lawyer.
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers – Panay Law Students Facbook, 03/03/21