Tag Archives: NUPL


March 17, 2019

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(National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook, 17/03/19)








https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/les-philippines-quittent-la-cpi-qui-enquete-sur-leur-president.afp.com.20190316.doc.1eq294.xml?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&Echobox=1552863732&fbclid=IwAR0v5nlvAJhE0jVsjdVg5aA-blepd_xuh3y3Mbo4Jip8NINacsnklty3RVU (FRANCAIS)

18 March 2019

International Lawyers Delegation Findings:
Killings and reprisals restraining lawyers from fully and freely exercising their profession; Calls for stop to attacks of their peers and brethren

An international delegation of lawyers organized by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Union of International Advocates (UIA), and Day of the Endangered Lawyer Foundation who arrived in the Philippines to look firsthand into the targeting of lawyers and other legal professionals shared their initial findings today at a press conference at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

After a series of marathon interviews and conferences in Metro Manila and Iloilo with victims and their families, government and non-governmental offices and bar associations, the team of lawyers from Belgium, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands and the US made some initial findings, among others:

(a) That at least 37 members of the legal profession have been killed in the exercise of their duties and profession;
(b) As a consequence of President Duterte’s “war on drugs,” lawyers who defend those accused of drug crimes are maligned and subjected to real threats of attack;
(c) Red-tagging lawyers resulted to harassment, surveillance, loss of employment and killing; and
(d) That the practice of filing fabricated charges to pressure, harass, discredit and intimidate lawyers is prevalent.

The group also concluded that these have created a climate of fear and intimidation preventing or obstructing lawyers, judges and prosecutors from exercising their profession.

Members of the Delegation raised concerns over patterns suggesting a connection between the killings of lawyers and the actions of the police and the military.

The group humbly put forward a list of initial recommendations in their sincere desire to protect their peers and brethren, to ensure the independence of judges and lawyers, and to uphold basic due process for all, including those of critics and dissenters.

It called on their colleague the President to refrain from publicly attacking fellow lawyers and urged him to publicly condemn all attacks against lawyers and other members of the legal profession and to abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

The Delegation was participated in by the Confederation of Lawyers in Asia and the Pacific (COLAP), National Lawyers Guild (NLG) of the US, Progress Lawyers Network (PLN) of Belgium, Italian Democratic Lawyers, Japanese Lawyers for International Solidarity and Action (JALISA), and MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society of Korea.

It is also supported by the
Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers of UK, European Lawyers for World Human Rights and Democracy (ELDH), Dutch Lawyers for Lawyers, European Democratic Lawyers (AED), Hellenic Union of Progressive Lawyers (HUPL) of Greece, Italian National Bar, Dutch League of Human Rights and the International Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL).

The Delegation would come up with a full report forthwith and will submit their findings to international bodies, governments and international organizations.###


Suzanne Adely
Hans Gaasbeek
c/o 09159074183 2019lawyersdelegation@gmail.com

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The Philippines: Int’l group in Philippines to investigate killing of lawyers

March 16, 2019

An international delegation has arrived in Manila to investigate the killing of lawyers in the country, days after the March 13 murder of Rex Jasper Lopoz in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, brought to 38 the number of lawyers killed since President Duterte assumed office in 2016.

The delegation is composed of lawyers from six countries—Belgium, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and the United States—who are tasked with interviewing survivors, victims’ relatives, government agencies, judges and prosecutors until Monday.

Edre Olalia of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), which is hosting the delegation, said the group came to the country on their own initiative after the killing in November last year of founding NUPL member Benjamin Tarug Ramos in Negros Occidental.

“When he was killed, a lot of condemnation came in, and some of them asked, ‘Is there anything we can do? Can we come down and check what the real situation is?’” Olalia said.

Focus on 15 cases

Various lawyers’ groups are represented in the delegation, including the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Union of International Advocates and Day of Endangered Lawyers Foundation.

Olalia said the group would investigate 15 recent killings that had occurred throughout Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao by speaking with lawyers themselves who had survived near-death situations or the families of those who had been slain.






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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 16/03/19)

The Philippines: International lawyers’ groups to probe attacks on Filipino counterparts

March 15, 2019

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Alarmed with the attacks on lawyers, judges and prosecutors in the Philippines, nine foreign lawyers from six different countries have come to the country to conduct their own investigation.

The fact-finding mission is composed of lawyers from Belgium, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and United States.

Suzanne Adely of National Lawyers Guild (NLG) of the U.S, and International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) said the delegation is hoping to collect information and answers from government institutions about the alarming rate of extrajudicial killings of lawyers and judges.

According to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), 38 lawyers have been killed under the Duterte administration. On March 14, another lawyer, Rex Jasper Lopoz, was gunned down in Tagum City.

Adely said their mission will focus on the extrajudicial killings of lawyers. “We cannot expect to be able to fight for justice if we cannot protect the peoples’ lawyers,” Adely told Bulatlat in an interview.

A trade unionist based in New York, Adely said she has been active in solidarity work with Filipinos in the U.S. and has learned about the political situation in the Philippines from her Filipino friends. “I always knew that I would come at some point,” she said.

Also joining the delegation is Johannes Karel Geesbaak, director of the Foundation for the Day of the Endangered Lawyer, who joined similar missions in the country during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration.

“The situation has not changed since the last time,” Geesbaak said during the colloquium held at the IBP building, March 15.

International fact-finding missions investigating the attacks on Filipino lawyers were conducted in 2006  and in 2008.  The 2008 mission noted little or no progress has been made in the cases investigated in 2006.



















15 March 2019

Legal Forum highlights crucial role of lawyers;
Int’l delegation of lawyers looks into attacks on peers & brethren

PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE’S misconception of the role of lawyers in society has largely contributed to the continuing attacks and threats on the legal profession. This was highlighted during the Colloquium on the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers: Focus on the Philippines held yesterday March 14 at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

Over the past three years of Duterte’s administration, at least 37 lawyers, judges, and prosecutors – or more than one per month- have been killed since President Duterte assumed power on 1 July 2016. At least 26 incidents of other forms of attacks and threats have been recorded.

“I hope that we can educate the population on the indispensable role of lawyers in society,” said IBP National President Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo. He added that: “I also hope that we can send the message across that we should not be attacked on the basis that we handle cases for a client.”

Day of the Endangered Lawyer Foundation Director Hans Gaasbeek of the Netherlands aired the same sentiment. Gaasbeek emphasized the need for governments to educate not only the people but also the police on the role of lawyers.

Meanwhile, the president of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) believes that the government is doing its best to address the killing of judges. Judge Felix Reyes Jr. discussed how the Supreme Court deals with the killings and attacks on the members of the Judiciary. He said that the Supreme Court had issued an administrative order detailing the actions a judge may take to secure his life. The PJA has recorded at least 29 judges killed from 1999 to 2018.

The Colloquium, sponsored mainly by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), Union of International Advocates (UIA) and Day of Endangered Lawyers Foundation (DELF), is part of the International Delegation of Lawyers to the Philippines. The
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) and the IBP were requested to host the 9-member Delegation of lawyers from Belgium, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands and the US.

The International Delegation of Lawyers to the Philippines is organized by the IADL, UIA, DELF and supported by the Confederation of Lawyers in Asia and the Pacific (COLAP), National Lawyers Guild (NLG) of the US, Progress Lawyers Network (PLN) of Belgium, Italian Democratic Lawyers, Japanese Lawyers for International Solidarity and Action (JALISA), and MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society of Korea.

The Dutch Lawyers for Lawyers, European Lawyers for World Human Rights and Democracy (ELDH), European Democratic Lawyers (AED), Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers of UK,
Hellenic Union of Progressive Lawyers (HUPL) of Greece, Italian National Bar Association, the Dutch League of Human Rights and the International Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL) also endorse the activity.

The Delegation wishes to know the reasons and causes of various forms of attacks against Filipino lawyers, share opinions on recommendations to abate further attacks, and remind the auuthorities of its obligation to ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.

They will be holding a series of meetings in Metro Manila and Iloilo and will publicly share their initial insights and views on Monday, March 18. #

Contact: M. Pinlac – Ad Hoc Delegation Secretariat
09159074183 2019lawyersdelegation@gmail.com

(Facebook, 15/03/19)

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The Philippines: Int’l, local lawyers’ groups gather for colloquium on role of lawyers in PH

March 12, 2019

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(National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 20/02/19)






The Philippines: Defense lawyer shot dead in Bacolod

August 24, 2018

Police say Rafael Atotubo was sitting outside his house when riding-in-tandem gunmen attacked him

‘RETURN TO THE NIGHTMARE’. Some senators have joined human rights groups in expressing concern over the reinstatement of the Philippine National Police in the Duterte administration’s drug war operations. File photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

A lawyer who handled drug cases was shot dead in front of his rented house here on Thursday, August 23.

The fatality was identified as 62-year-old Rafael Atotubo.

The lawyer was sitting outside his house when he was attacked by two unidentified assailants on board a motorcycle.

Chief Inspector Sherlock Gabana, Bacolod City Police Office public information officer, said the armed back rider, who was wearing a black jacket, bonnet and helmet, alighted from the motorcycle and shot the victim twice.

The victim was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead upon arrival. He succumbed to a gunshot wound below his left eyebrow.

Authorities recovered two fired cartridges of caliber .9mm from the crime scene while the victim’s vehicle that was parked inside his garage had two bullet holes.

Police probers are looking at all possible motives including the victim’s work as a defense lawyer for drug personalities.














Posted by L'Observatoire IDHAE on Sunday, September 2, 2018

https://philippinenmagazin.de/2018/08/24/62-jaehriger-anwalt-vor-seinem-haus-in-bacolod-erschossen/ (DEUTSCH)

23 August 2018

Another dear brethren falls with his boots on

NUPL strongly condemns the continuing attacks on lawyers with the atrocious killing of Atty. Rafael Atotubo in Bacolod by unidentified assailants riding in tandem. While Atty. Atotubo has represented many illegal drugs suspects in court, this can not in any way justify his killing. No lawyer should be attacked for the exercise of their profession especially since everybody has the constitutional right to counsel and access to courts.

The brazeness of the attack committed in a public place in broad daylight is strikjngly similar to the modus operandi of the continuing extrajudicial killngs all over the country. This shows that the killers were never afraid of being accosted by the police, which only strengthens the theory that the police is involved in the killings. The fact that President Duterte previously threatened lawyers who represent drug suspects only adds more to the belief that the killings are state-sponsored or condoned.

We are wary that the killing of this low-profile and quiet lawyer will end up unsolved like the thousands of extrajudicial killings nationwide. This barbaric act comes on the heels of the continuing attacks and threats on prosecutors and practising lawyers who in one way or another perform their professional duties in regard to drug cases. We dread the message writ large by the authorities: “lawyers back off or you will be next.”

We ask the Supreme Court and the local and international legal comminity to strongly denounce this latest attack and criticise the failure of the Duterte administratiion to stop the killings and arrest the killers not only of lawyers but civilians who were victims of extrajudicial killings. We also ask colleagues in the legal profession to help families of victims achieve justice for the death of their loved ones.

We demand that President Duterte, himself a lawyer and forner prosecutor, to publicly condemn the killing and declare that lawyers should not be attacked for the exercise of their profession. We demand that he publicly commit that the perpetrators be held accountable under the law.

We will not back off. We shall close ranks and stand our ground.


Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares
NUPL Chairperson
‭(0917) 835 0459‬

Atty. Edre U. Olalia
NUPL President
(0917) 5113373

(UP National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers Facebook, 24/8/18)