Advocacy groups and human rights defenders on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to come up with measures that will also protect not only members of the legal profession but of advocates as well.
In a submission to Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo, they said based on the report submitted by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), 84 of the 147 incidents of attacks or 57 percent were committed against lawyers engaged in human rights and public interest litigation.
“These attacks against human rights lawyers violate the basic principle that lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions,” read the letter.
They urged the high court to also look into the attacks suffered by the clients and know the government policies that caused them.
They said, since the time of the Arroyo administration, the government has been engaged in a “dirty war” against unarmed activists by publicly labeling legal organizations as “communist fronts.”
The high court already came up with the Rule on the Writs of Amparo and Habeas Data. In 2007, the high court also overturned the prosecution of progressive party-list representatives Crispin Beltran, Rafael Mariano, Joel Virador, Teodoro Casiño, Satur Ocampo, and Liza Maza for rebellion.
However, despite the ruling and issuances, advocates are continuously being tagged as having terror ties. Some have been arrested and detained while others have been threatened and attacked.