September 30, 2019
Concern over the escalation of attacks against lawyers and judges in the Philippines has prompted the issuance by lawyers’ organizations worldwide of the statement reproduced hereunder: It is hoped that our Philippine government and our justice system heed the recommendation.
‘The Philippines: Attacks against lawyers escalating’
“September 17, 2019—We, the undersigned organizations, lawyers and members of the legal profession, express deep concern over the increasing attacks against lawyers in the Philippines and the oppressive working environment they face since the start of President Duterte’s administration. We call on the Duterte administration to adequately protect the safety and independence of lawyers and end the culture of impunity in which these attacks occur.
Extrajudicial killings and harassment of lawyers
Since President Duterte took office on June 30, 2016, the number and intensity of attacks against lawyers have increased significantly. At least 41 lawyers and prosecutors were killed between July 2016 and September 5, 2019, including 24 practicing lawyers. Lawyers are also harassed and intimated. They are subjected to (death) threats, surveillance, labeling and other forms of attacks. In addition, at least five judges and retired judges have been murdered since July 2016, bringing the total number of jurists extrajudicially killed in the Philippines to at least 46 in the same period. Eight jurists survived attacks on their life.
Lawyers at risk
Most killings and attacks of lawyers took place as a result of discharging professional duties or are believed to be otherwise work-related. Especially at risk are lawyers representing people accused of terrorist or drug-related crimes, or government critics, such as journalists, political opposition leaders, and human-rights defenders. Lawyers providing legal representation in high-profile cases impacting established interests, such as land reform, or lawyers taking part in public discussion about human-rights issues, also face reprisals.
Filipino lawyers attacksed Sept 2019 (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)