Tag Archives: National Union of People’s Lawyers

The Philippines: De Lima Wants Crimes Vs Lawyers Considered As Aggravating Circumstance

August 10, 2019

Alarmed by the continued rise in the number of attacks against lawyers, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has introduced a measure increasing the penalty against crimes committed against lawyers by considering these offenses as aggravating circumstance.

De Lima, a lawyer by profession, filed Senate Bill No. 780 which seeks to include the crime committed against lawyers and other justice sector officials as aggravating circumstance, thereby amending Section 14 of the Revised Penal Code.

“There is a clear need to amend existing law to establish a clear government police to protect our justice system and the persons tasked to administer justice,” she said.

“To deter commission of crimes against the person and property of lawyers and justice sector officials, this bill increases penalty against crimes committed against them by considering such crimes as an aggravating circumstance,” she added.

The former justice secretary cited the unabated spate of killings against members of the legal profession in recent years. According to the Alternative Law Journal, at least 114 legal professionals were killed between January 1999 and October 2004.

Under the present administration, at least 40 judges, prosecutors and lawyers have been killed, with almost half of them gunned down by unidentified men. Just recently, lawyers Anthony Trinidad and Nicolas Gomez Jr. were gunned down in separate incidents in Negros Oriental and Bukidnon, respectively.

Last March 2019, an international delegation composed of lawyers from Belgium, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and the United States came to the country to investigate the spate of killings, harassment and intimidation involving lawyers.

The delegation interviewed survivors, victims’ relatives, government agencies and prosecutors to beef up its reports, which they will submit to the United Nations Human Rights Council, International Criminal Court and other international organizations.

Aside from this, various human rights organizations and lawyers groups, such as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, have expressed alarm over the recent incidents.

De Lima Wants Crimes Vs Lawyers Considered As Aggravating Circumstance


Murders of Environmentalists Have Doubled in 15 Years

Lawmakers cross partylines to call for House probe on Negros killings


Strongest protest at escalated political killings in Negros Oriental, the Philippines



UN probes don’t infringe on PH sovereignty


Why are the Armed Forces of the Philippines Targeting People like Brandon Lee?


August 20 set as national day of mourning, protest vs killings


Report of IAPL Monitoring Committee 13 8 19 revised ed (IAPL MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)




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The Philippines: NUPL seeks Supreme Court review of junked plea for protection

August 7, 2019

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers has asked the Supreme Court to look into the appeals’ court dismissal of their plea for protection writ against perceived state harassment and red-tagging.

The lawyers’ group filed a Petition for Review before the SC and prayed for the reversal of the Court of Appeals’ ruling that junked their plea for the issuance of writ of amparo and habeas data.

The NUPL filed a petition for a writ of amparo as they said that their rights to life, liberty and security have been violated by “persistent threats and harassment, and red-tagging,” preventing them from carrying out their profession as members of the bar.

But the Court of Appeals rejected their plea, as it said there is no evidence that the military “are keeping records of investigations and other reports about the petitioners or their alleged ties with the CPP-NPA.”

The group of pro bono lawyers lamented their loss at the appeals court. Its president, Edre Olalia, said: “How many more lawyers and human rights defenders need to be killed, vilified, harassed, threatened, and labelled before the dots are connected?”



NUPL to SC: Stand by your lawyers

Lawyers’ group asks SC to reverse CA ruling on ‘Amparo’ case



Human rights lawyers to SC: ‘How many more lives, your Honor?’

Rights worker survives gun attack in Ifugao


The Philippines: Attacks against lawyers escalating




The Philippines: Red-tagged personalities seek protection of Oro officials

August 7, 2019

A leader of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, a prominent human rights lawyer and several journalists have sought the protection of the city government after being subjected to relentless red-tagging by unknown groups.

IFI Bishop Felixberto Calang said the red-tagging of leaders of their church had resulted in dwindling attendance during masses.

“Our members are shying away from going to our churches for fear they may be red-tagged too,” Calang said.

Calang together with human rights lawyer Beverly Musni and Pam Sairo and JB Deveza of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines sought protection from City Mayor Oscar Moreno and the City Council on Tuesday.

“It is becoming hard to do our duties because we are too concerned about our safety,” Calang told Moreno.

Red-tagged personalities seek protection of Oro officials


Red tagging victims to city hall: Protect us




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The Philippines: Killings Escalate in Central Philippines

July 30, 2019

Government, Rebel Forces in Negros Should End Unlawful Attacks

Supporters shout slogans as they hold paper crosses bearing names of killed people from Negros Oriental province during a rally in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Monday, April 8, 2019.

Killings in the Philippines’ Negros Oriental province surged over the weekend, with the 14th fatal shooting on Negros island in a week. Media reports said gunmen shot dead Anaciancino Rosalita in a public market in Canlaon City. Local activists contend that his death is just the latest murder in the government’s ostensible campaign to suppress “lawless violence.”

The island of Negros has a long history of violence stemming from festering issues of land rights, poverty, and injustice. Peasant and farmer groups have campaigned for land reform over the island’s vast sugar plantations amidst fighting between communist insurgents and government forces. Both sides have been implicated in countless human rights abuses.

The attacks increased dramatically after the New People’s Army (NPA) killed four police officers on July 18 in Ayungon town. The police allege the officers had been tortured and then executed. The NPA denied this, although they confirmed killing the officers in an ambush.

On July 22, President Rodrigo Duterte denounced the killings and offered a reward for the capture of those responsible. Since then, there have been multiple daily killings in the province.  On July 25 alone, seven people were killed in separate summary killings in different parts of the province. On July 23, unidentified gunmen killed Anthony Trinidad, a human rights lawyer, in Guihulngan City.





IBP calls for speedy probe on Negros lawyer’s murder, arrest of killers





IBP calls on authorities to find out who killed Negros Oriental lawyer

Court junks rights lawyers’ plea for protection

Appellate court denies lawyers’ protection plea





Top US think tank sees no gauge of success in PH drug war

De Lima: UN Probe A Must Amid Gov’t’s Lack Of Interest In Probing EJKs

Press Statement on the Series of Killings in Negros





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The Philippines: De Lima wants Senate probe on ‘systematic’ attacks on lawyers, judges

July 27, 2019

Senator Leila M. de Lima has formally urged the Senate to conduct an immediate investigation into what she called the ‘’systematic attacks and continued assault’’ against members of the legal profession, including lawyers, prosecutors, and judges.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)

In filing Senate Resolution (SR) 33, De Lima lamented how the roster of lawyers in the country was rapidly transforming into a list of names of casualties caught in the middle of the administration’s violent war on drugs.

De Lima, a staunch critic of President Duterte and a member of the Senate minority bloc, is currently under detention on alleged illegal drug-related charges.

“This escalating and alarming trend and spate of attacks and killings of members of the Bar makes it imperative for the government and law authorities and institutions to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice,” she said.

De Lima stressed the need “to provide adequate measures to address and ensure the personal and professional safety of Filipino lawyers and to effectively prevent any further attacks on their independence and security.”

Among the recent lawyers murdered in cold blood was lawyer Anthony Trinidad, a known human rights defender in Negros, who was killed by still-unidentified assassins while onboard his vehicle and shot him several times in Negros Oriental last July 23.

Last May 17, lawyer Val Crisostomo was shot by a gunman at Dagupan City Justice Hall in Pangasinan. He was among the lawyers who filed cases against the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for conducting alleged illegal raids in the Peryahan ng Bayan games in Pangasinan.

Recently, an international delegation of lawyers that had conducted a fact-finding mission into the attacks against Philippine lawyers, judges, prosecutors and paralegals, were themselves subjected to surveillance and received threats last March 18.

De Lima wants Senate probe on ‘systematic’ attacks on lawyers, judges

IBP, NUPL slam lawyer’s killing

NUPL: Lawyer’s death shows hazard of being ‘baselessly’ linked to NPA

Stop the killings!




CHR-7 condemns spate of killings in Central Visayas

Spate of killings instills fear among Negros residents

Negros Island: Killing fields


On the murder of Atty. Anthony Trinidad







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The Philippines: Groups condemn killing of red-tagged human rights lawyer

July 25, 2019

The killing of another lawyer in Negros island—whose name was said to be on a “hit list”—highlights the dire consequences of red-tagging on the lives and security of human rights defenders.

Groups Karapatan and National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers stressed this Thursday as they condemned the killing of human rights lawyer Anthony Trinidad.

The 53-year-old lawyer and his wife were inside their vehicle when two motorcycle-riding assailants shot them in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental Wednesday afternoon. Trinidad was killed, while his wife remained confined due to serious injuries.

Both groups noted that Trinidad was red-tagged prior to his killing. His name was included in a flyer bearing the names of alleged supporters of communist rebels.

Cristina Palabay said the killing of Trinidad exposes that “hit lists” often translate to killings.

“This only proves as well that the perceived dangers of being arbitrarily, maliciously and baselessly red-tagged are neither imaginary nor contrived, but constitute real threats to life, liberty and security,” Edre Olalia, NUPL secretary general, said.


NUPL: Lawyer’s death shows hazard of being ‘baselessly’ linked to NPA




Family of slain Negros Oriental lawyer appeals for justice: ‘Stop the killings’




Lawyer included in ‘hit list’ killed

Stop the killings!

Sen. Leila M. De Lima’s Statement On The Killing Of Another HRD, Atty. Anthony Trinidad


PRO-7 chief: Killings in Negros Or. are not a cause for alarm

PRO-7 chief: Killings in Negros Or. are not a cause for alarm



Attacks on Filipino lawyers and law workers 23 7 19 (MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)




The Philippines: Lawyer killed, wife wounded in Negros Oriental ambush

July 23, 2019

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A lawyer was killed while his wife was wounded after they were ambushed by two men onboard a motorcycle in Sitio Looc, Barangay Poblacion, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental, past 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23.

Lawyer Anthony Trinidad, 53, was driving his white Sports Utility Vehicle, Subaro, when the assailants who on a motorcycle suddenly drove by him, said Lieutenant Col. Bonifacio Tecson, chief of the Guihulngan Police Station.

The back rider, he said, then drew a pistol and shot Trinidad and his wife Novie Marie.

Trinidad lost control of the vehicle and accidentally bumped a trisikad which injured the driver.

The victims were rushed to the Guihulngan District Hospital but Trinidad was declared dead on arrival by the attending physician.

Lawyer killed, wife wounded in Negros Oriental ambush







Family of slain Negros Oriental lawyer appeals for justice: ‘Stop the killings’

Attacks on Filipino lawyers and law workers 23 7 19 (MONITORING COMMITTEE REPORT)



24 July 2019

On the extrajudicial killing of another brother in the legal profession, Atty. Anthony Trinidad

NUPL condemns in the strongest terms the cold-blooded murder of human rights lawyer Atty. Anthony Trinidad in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental after being gunned down by unidentified men. The victim was reportedly scheduled to appear in a court hearing.

Earlier in 2018, Atty. Trinidad’s name was said to be included in a hit list by an alleged anti-communist group called Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (KAGUBAK). He has also been receiving death threats due to the cases he was handling, some of which are that of political prisoners in the region. This only proves as well that the perceived dangers of being arbitrarily, maliciously and baselessly red-tagged are neither imaginary nor contrived, but constitute real threats to life, liberty and security.

Atty. Trinidad’s death is added to the death toll of at least 40 judges, prosecutors, and lawyers since President Duterte took office in 2016. This is a manifestation of the culture of impunity that the administration has been perpetuating. How can we believe the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo that the Philippine justice system is “robust, functional, and very effective” when lawyers themselves in pursuit of peace and justice are in the line of fire?

We call for justice for the death of Atty. Anthony Trinidad. Stop the attacks against lawyers!


Ephraim B. Cortez
NUPL Secretary General
(0917) 546 5798

Josalee S. Deinla
NUPL Spokesperson
(0917) 431 6396

NUPL joins #SONA2019, bringing calls to stop malicious and baseless red-tagging against its ranks, exact accountability for attacks against human rights defenders, and unite for the defense of Philippine sovereignty, with stronger and deeper commitment to fight for rights and rule of justice.

(National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook, 22/07/19)