Tag Archives: The Philippines

The Philippines: Regional rights group: Drop charges vs lawyer of Sagay witness’s mom

November 13, 2018

Regional women’s rights group Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development has condemned the filing of kidnapping and illegal detention charges against lawyer Katherine Panguban and is calling for them to be dropped.

The charges against Panguban, a member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, were filed by the biological father of “Lester,” the 14-year-old witness of the October 20 Sagay massacre, where nine sugar plantation workers were murdered in a hacienda in Negros Occidental.

READ: 9 sugar workers slain in Negros Occidental hacienda shares

“APWLD demands that the politically motivated charges against Ms. Panguban to be dropped immediately and for the murders of Benjamin Ramos and the nine farmers to be independently investigated,” they said in the statement.

According to the APWLD statement, the father is “widely believed to be in the control of the police and military.”

Police officials said earlier this month that they support the filing of charges. “It’s not right to get the kid if you’re not related and curtail his liberty,” Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde was quoted in a GMA News Online report on November 5. “We need the whereabouts of the kid,” he added.

But APWLD and other human rights groups denied that Panguban was the one who took custody of the child and was only representing Flordeliza Cabahug, the child’s mother.
Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/13/1868279/regional-rights-group-drop-charges-vs-lawyer-sagay-witnesss-mom#ypavTrIjwFw2uIg1.99













https://anovademocracia.com.br/noticias/9881-filipinas-advogado-do-povo-executado-por-apoiar-camponeses?fbclid=IwAR0bI_MdagS2bhK4rYL2r83Z3OIRpTPH9MTjCzsKikfDEaPq4mqTAbAxBoU (PORTUGUES)


The Philippines: Duterte critic appeals tag as nuisance Senate bet

November 13, 2018

Lawyer Jude Sabio tells the Comelec it won’t look good if ‘a legal archenemy of President Duterte’ is declared a nuisance senatorial candidate

COMPLAINT VS DUTERTE. Jude Sabio is the lawyer who filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court. File photo courtesy of Jude Sabio

Senatorial hopeful Jude Josue Sabio, the lawyer who filed a complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC), appealed the petition of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) law department to declare him a nuisance candidate.

“It will not look good in the eyes of the nation and the world that I, as the first Filipino lawyer internationally and nationally known to have lodged the first historic complaint in the ICC against President Duterte and his allies, is being treated as a nuisance,” Sabio said in an 18-page comment obtained by Rappler.

“It certainly will not sit well with the country and the world that a legal archenemy of President Duterte is unceremoniously being deprived of meaningful participation in the electoral process,” he added.

Sabio sent this comment to the Comelec via courier late Tuesday afternoon, November 13, and he expects this to reach the poll body on Wednesday, November 14.

Sabio is among 95 personalities – including former Consultative Committee spokesperson Conrado “Ding” Generoso and pro-life advocate Rizalito David – whom the Comelec law department wants the poll body to classify as nuisance senatorial bets. Comelec commissioners will have the final say after subjecting them to hearings and evaluating their cases.

Sabio on April 24 filed a complaint against Duterte before the ICC for alleged “mass murder” in the Philippines. He cited the murder of at least 1,400 people by the alleged Davao Death Squad when Duterte was Davao City mayor, and the killing of thousands more during Duterte’s presidency.









The Philippines: A voice silenced

November 10, 2018


He was taking a break from a day’s labor in behalf of a client who was a political prisoner. This was a task long familiar to Ben Ramos, 56, secretary general of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)-Negros, who had devoted many years of his life to giving voice to human rights victims and citizens in conflict with government, fighting for their rights and standing up to the powerful.

Late in the evening of Nov. 6, Ramos had stepped out of his house in Kabankalan City, bought some cigarettes and was smoking and chatting with the store owner when two men riding tandem on a motorcycle fired shots at the human rights lawyer. Ramos suffered four gunshot wounds and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

At once, the NUPL and other human rights organizations expressed their outrage at the killing of Ramos. “We are shocked, devastated and enraged at the premeditated cold-blooded murder of our colleague and fellow people’s lawyer,” said the NUPL in a statement signed by Edre Olalia, president of the group, and other officers.

It is obvious from the descriptions offered by his colleagues and friends in the precarious profession of human rights lawyering that Ramos was not just a diligent and devoted lawyer, but a fine human being as well. The NUPL described him as “passionate, dedicated and articulate yet amiable and jolly.” And in language surprising in the usually “grim and determined” statements of activist groups, the NUPL later characterized Ramos as “our beloved, adorably husky-voiced zany Ben.” He was obviously much-liked.

Given his training and background as a lawyer, Ramos could very well have turned his attention to more lucrative pursuits, as have the majority of law graduates before him. Instead, Ramos was, said the lawyers’ group, “the ‘go-to’ pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations in Negros.” It was a career choice that not only paid poorly, if at all, but also put him on the frontlines of confrontations—in picket lines, in courtrooms and detention centers—as he spoke up for his poor and powerless clients.



























Urgent Alert Ben Ramos


https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z8CDNn_y831dbveu5mTfg6fNyoeyM4eyiCUjxbi7vCg/edit?fbclid=IwAR1Uo_H4wyz6vXqrQ3jm6wCFwx2I4WW2NE5H7NYhVHC3adDaAJOZ8pOAEw0 (PLEASE SIGN URGENT APPEAL!)

https://tnt.abante.com.ph/ibp-samo-ang-hustisya-sa-pinatay-na-abogado-ng-nupl/?fbclid=IwAR0hlcXVSecXPamPhZBIPPydOyA5rgwqMMvfmxu7qUaJAjW-S1jYddXvEfo (TAGALOG)

https://tnt.abante.com.ph/digong-sa-bintang-na-pinapatay-si-atty-ben-napaka-small-time-naman/ (TAGALOG)

https://www.acodev.be/news/assassinat-de-ben-ramos-aux-philippines (FRANCAIS)



The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in the Philippines:
The European Union strongly condemns the killing by unidentified men on 6 November 2018 of Attorney Benjamin Tarug Ramos, Secretary General of Negros Occidental Chapter of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers.
Attorney Ramos was the main lawyer for the National Federation of Sugar Workers in Negros Occidental and provided assistance to farmers following the killing of nine sugar cane farmers in Sagay on 20 October.
The European Union expresses its sincere condolences to the families of all the victims and looks to the ongoing investigations, as announced by the Government, to swiftly bring those responsible to justice.

(European Union in the Philippines Facebook, 09/11/18)

Re: A Statement of Solidarity to Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines

We, the undersigned, wish to express concern and disgust regarding the brazen attacks on human rights defenders in the Philippines. We strongly condemn the recent killing of Atty. Benjamin Ramos, 56, founding member and former Secretary General of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL). On November 6, 2018, he was gunned down by two unidentified gunmen in Negros Occidental, Philippines.

According to the NUPL, Ramos had just finished preparing a legal paper for one of his pro bono clients, which include peasants, workers, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations, when the shooting took place. He was the co-counsel for the families of nine sugar farm workers slain in Hacienda Nene, Sagay City, Negros Occidental on October 20, 2018. He was also representing six young activists arrested by the military, who had been maliciously linked them to the New People’s Army.

Because of his human rights work, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) accused Atty. Ramos of colluding with communist rebels. Atty. Ramos is the ninth lawyer killed in the Philippines this year. The other victims are:

1. John Ungab, February 19, 2018 in Ronda, Cebu
2. Henry Joseph Herrera, April 22, 2018, in Atimonan, Quezon
3. Salvador Solima and his wife, July 2, 2018, Cebu City
4. Rafael Atotubo, August 23, 2018, in Bacolod City.
5. Connie del Rio Villamor, 24 September 24, 2018, in Tagum City
6. Wilmer Donasco, Septembre 24, 2018, in Davao City
7. Edel Julio Romero, September 28, 2018, in Iloilo City
8. Jason Perera, September 29, 2018, in Laoag City

Thirty-four lawyers have been killed in the Philippines over the two year reign of President Duterte, including judges and prosecutors, according to NUPL. These killings of members of the legal community comes as President Duterte’s war on drugs, war on terror, war on women and war on the poor counts its victims in the thousands.

The killings, smear campaigns, death threats and harassments against human rights defenders in the Philippines are a clear violation of UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. According to this declaration:

Article 1
Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.

Article 12 (2)
The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.

Lawyers play a crucial role in upholding the fundamental rights of the people. They also protect the pillars of democracy as they facilitate the administration of justice. In the Philippines, human rights lawyers defend the marginalized and the defenseless. To kill a human rights lawyer is an obvious attempt to silence those who speak for the unheard and the voiceless. It is an attempt to deter lawyers and members of the legal profession to fulfill their roles as guardians of justice.

In the context of the intensifying human rights violations committed with impunity in the Philippines, it is timely that we, as members of the legal community in Canada and other concerned organizations, show our solidarity and unwavering support for human rights defenders in the Philippines. We urge the Canadian government to halt funding and cooperation, directly or indirectly, with the AFP, the PNP and other organizations who have been linked to human rights violations in the Philippines.

We call on the Philippine government to:

– Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of all human rights defenders in the country;
– Carry out an immediate, thorough, impartial, and transparent investigation into the murder of Atty. Benjamin Ramos in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;
– Put an end to all acts of harassment against all human rights defenders in the Philippines, and ensure that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals;
– Conform to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Articles 1 and 12.2;
– Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Philippines.

International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines – Canada
Association des juristes progressistes (A.J.P.), Québec
Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers, IAPL – International Association of People’s Lawyers
Nandini Ramanujam, McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism
Kirsten Anker, law professor, McGill University
Dominique Caouette, Political Science Professor, Université de Montréal
Radha De Souza, law professor, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
Gill Boehringer, former Dean, School of Law, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Stuart Russell, lawyer (Ret.), administrative judge (Ret.), law professor (Ret.)
May Chiu, lawyer, Montreal
Hannah Deegan, lawyer, Montreal
Walter Chi-yan Tom, lawyer, Montreal
Kate Forrest, lawyer, Montreal
Diana Sitoianu, lawyer, Montreal
Mark Phillips, lawyer, Montreal
Kayle Sykes, lawyer, Montreal
Andrew E. Cleland, lawyer, Montreal
Justine Blair, student-at-law, Montreal
Jeff Li, student-at-law, Montréal
Deborah Guterman, student-at-law, Montreal
Andra Ioana Muraru, student-at-law, Montreal
Renz Grospe, Anakbayan Canada, student, École du Barreau du Québec, former law intern at NUPL
Steve Payette, graduate student in law, Université de Sherbrooke
Delphine Gauthier-Boiteau, graduate student in law, Université du Québec à Montréal
Aïssatou Fall, law student, Université du Québec à Montréal
Chris Albinati, lawyer, PhD Candidate, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
Kareem Ibrahim, graduate student in law, University of British Columbia
Alexander Agnello, law student, McGill University, former law intern at Ateneo Human Rights Center
Alicia Blimkie, law student, McGill University, former law intern at Ateneo Human Rights Center
Sydney Lang, law student, McGill University
Angèle Poupard, law student, McGill University
Emilie Duchesne, law student, McGill University
Julianna Duholke, law student, McGill University
Alessa Dassios, law student, McGill University
Megan Lindy, law student, McGill University
Kerry Ann Marcotte, law student, McGill University
Lily Maya Wang, law student, McGill University
Alix Génier, law student, McGill University
Jan Nato, law student, McGill University
Noémie Ducret, law student, McGill University
Adelise Lalande, law student, McGill University
Bayan Canada
Migrante Canada
Centre for Philippine Concerns
Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights Solidarity for Human Rights
Kasama McGill
Kagawasan Liberation
Quebec Public Interest Research Group, McGill University

(BAYAN Canada Facebook, 12/11/18)

COLAP STATEMENT Re: Killing of Benjamin Ramos

The Confederation of Lawyers of Asia and the Pacific (COLAP) condemns in the strongest possible terms the cold-blooded murder of human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos in the Philippines. Ramos was gunned down by two unidentified men riding in tandem more or less an hour before midnight on November 6, 2018 in his town at Kabankalan City, Negros Island.

For many years, Ramos has been a staunch defender of the rights of the farmers human rights, not only in Negros Island also in other parts of the country. He was one of the handling lawyers of the infamous cases of Sagay 9 killing ang Mabinay 6 in Negros when he was killed. He was likewise critical of government’s policies and programs including the government’s war against drugs. In April this year, his name and photo was included in the list of persons tagged as communists in the posters circulated by the police in Negros. The cold-blooded murder of Ramos, following the red-tagging incident, is apparently not a blue moon in the series of extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders and activists in the Philippines and considering that he is the 34th member of the legal profession killed, most of which remain unresolved, under the more than two-year old Duterte administration.

The red-tagging by the state and subsequent treacherous killing of Ramos and of those many others show the state’s blatant disregard to human rights and the right to life. It is an affront to the members of the legal profession who are defenders of human rights and an insult to the international bill of rights.

As we mourn the loss of our colleague, we call on the Philippine government to conduct an impartial investigation on the brutal killing of Ramos, honor its obligations under international law, make the killings stop, end impunity, ensure independence in the practice of the legal profession without undue influence, lawless interferences and unsafe conditions, and respect the rights of the people enshrined in the Constitution and international laws We also call on other lawyers to remain resolute on their oath to protect the rights and defend the defenseless and not to cower in the face of these attacks. As our colleagues in the Philippines vow not to be cowed and stand their ground, we, likewise, gather our ranks, stand in solidarity with them in these trying times, albeit the distance, and pledge with them not to be deterred and to continue lawyering for the people, the defenseless, and the defenders in Asia and the Pacific. ###

For the Office Bearer and Executive Council,
Jitendra Sharma ( India)

Jun Sasamoto ( Japan)
Secretary General


(Confederation of Lawyers of Asia and the Pacific – COLAP Facebook, 11/11/18)

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Image result for Attorney Ben Ramos


Image result for Attorney Ben Ramos

The Philippines/HRW: Another Rights Lawyer Murdered in the Philippines

November 7, 2018


By most accounts, Benjamin Ramos died doing exactly what he had always done as a human rights lawyer: helping his clients free of charge. On the evening of November 6, Ramos was taking a break from assisting a client when gunmen on a motorcycle shot him three times. Ramos was 56 years old.

Ramos’s murder in the central Philippine province of Negros Occidental is shocking but, sadly, not surprising in a country where impunity for extrajudicial killings and other serious rights violations, including “drug war” murders, prevails.

Lawyers like Ramos who represent the most marginalized people in the Philippines have themselves also been victims of abuse. For his work, authorities vilified Ramos as a communist and harassed his colleagues. According to the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, which he helped establish, Ramos was the 34th lawyer to have been murdered since President Rodrigo Duterte took office.

Ramos’s murder also underscores the persistence of injustice in Negros, where landlessness has bred decades-old agrarian conflict. Ramos was representing families of victims of last month’s Sagay Massacre, when nine activists were gunned down after joining a protest on a sugarcane plantation. These protests, known as “bungkalan,” have often resulted in violence in Negros and elsewhere, as peasants and farmers occupy contested property and are met with resistance from landowners. Three decades since the Philippines’ “People Power” uprising spurred demands for change, agrarian reform remains an unfulfilled promise.





















And in the Philippines the killing of human rights defenders also continues with Benjamin Ramos








Posted by UP National Union of Peoples' Lawyers on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z8CDNn_y831dbveu5mTfg6fNyoeyM4eyiCUjxbi7vCg/edit?fbclid=IwAR3X6EGXWdHo-SAmTNymdihKnUy6WgFXrVGAOg3qZ8BuvSVLaSSlKesB_uE (PLEASE SIGN URGENT APPEAL!)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20181109124501-106-345224/pengacara-pengkritik-duterte-tewas-ditembak (TAGALOG)

https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/11/08/18/pagpatay-kay-human-rights-lawyer-benjamin-ramos-kinondena?fbclid=IwAR1cXWj3lRCv2bRuk36uGj6lXj0SKQ0hXVkrBoTRmUf-lQoQxJ8yHbTaVsc (TAGALOG)

https://astm.lu/lastm-denonce-fermement-lassassinat-de-benjamin-ramos-directeur-de-son-organisation-partenaire-pdg-aux-philippines/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.vivasalud.be/news/ben-ramos%C2%A0-un-avocat-au-service-des-luttes-du-peuple-philippin?fbclid=IwAR33cxD-31wArhYpLG1ji-7Rl02IovRLvvQyGZwH3-5QYpNzJ5-SZHaX0t0 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/philippines-un-34e-homme-de-loi-ete-assassine (FRANCAIS)

https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2018/11/07/internacional/1541600406_267466.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/newsroom/kofler-zum-mord-benjamin-ramos/2158370 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/philippinen-menschenrechtsanwalt-ramos-erschossen-ld.1434491 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/philippinen-bundesregierung-verurteilt-ermordung-von.1939.de.html?drn:news_id=943451 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.tpi.it/2018/11/09/ultime-notizie-oggi-ultima-ora/ (ITALIANO)

https://catracalivre.com.br/cidadania/advogado-defensor-dos-direitos-humanos-e-morto-nas-filipinas/ (PORTUGUES)

https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/filipijnen-mensenrechtenadvocaat-benjamin-ramos-vermoord (NEDERLANDS)





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The Philippines: NUPL lawyer is 34th killed under Duterte administration

November 7, 2018

A FOUNDING member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL) was gunned down in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental on Tuesday night, Nov. 6, the 34th lawyer killed under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Atty. Benjamin T. Ramos, 56, was shot by two unidentified gunmen in Barangay 5 at 10:30 p.m., according to the police report.

He sustained three gunshot wounds and was rushed to Holy Mother of Mercy Kabankalan City Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

“These beastly attacks by treacherous cowards cannot go on. Not a few of our members have been attacked and killed before while literally practicing their profession and advocacies in the courts, in rallies, in picket lines, in urban poor communities, and in fact-finding missions,” said NUPL President Edre U. Olalia in a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 7.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) said the murder of lawyers is also an attack on the rule of law.

“Each unsolved and un-prosecuted murder of the officers of our courts of law is an attack against the rule of law. It cripples or paralyzes the moving parts of the justice system upon the well-founded apprehension that the attacks are a direct result of the discharge of their functions,” the IBP statement read.

International group Human Rights Watch (HRW) also denounced the killing of Mr. Ramos and described his death as a product of “impunity” under the Duterte administration.












https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z8CDNn_y831dbveu5mTfg6fNyoeyM4eyiCUjxbi7vCg/edit?fbclid=IwAR2N22Y_-e6SnItbHlQtUTwb1wuHIJ0FsgFR8CKjJGmKMXSfk9S-MWuiZeA (PLEASE SIGN URGENT PETITION!)

https://rmn.ph/tinuligsa-ibp-kinondena-ang-pagpaslang-kay-atty-ben-ramos-sa-negros-occidental/ (TAGALOG)

http://news.tv5.com.ph/recent/watch/tbmY8G9N6QQ/abogado%20ng%20sagay%209,%20patay%20sa%20pamamaril%20sa%20negros%20occidental?fbclid=IwAR0k12Q8u_96D_eyQmLRdfRggwqwSTX_WU2zhm7c3RUaJkRLZKjN7bESvh8 (TAGALOG)

https://news.abs-cbn.com/video/news/11/08/18/pagpatay-kay-human-rights-lawyer-benjamin-ramos-kinondena?fbclid=IwAR09YoznjrJrN8cmQcWCawQI7K4nJklcLuxSmnGn2J-FNSgkZ-IxZF07E_U (TAGALOG)

https://tnt.abante.com.ph/pagpaslang-sa-abogado-ng-nupl-kinondena-ng-malacanang/ (TAGALOG)

http://www.giuristidemocratici.it/Internazionali/post/20181107131052?fbclid=IwAR3dsyXgX-zOCOt_JhMtDJPuf-WCd7SrQ8siefeyhafbtCsQ4FdY2OcaCkQ (ITALIANO)






7 November 2018

Justice for Environmental defender Atty. Ben Ramos!

The Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment strongly condemns the killing of Atty. Benjamin Ramos, a member of Paghidaet sa Kauswagan (PDG), a group advocating for sustainable and environment-friendly agriculture in Negros Occidental province. He was also among the leaders of Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG), an organization which works for pro-people and pro-environment agricultural policies and technologies in the country.

Atty. Ben was a staunch environmental defender. Atty. Ben was an effective leader in opposing the commercialization of Monsanto’s Bt corn which farmers have complained of negatively affecting their farm productivity and further tying their dependency to toxic agricultural inputs. With his colleagues in MASIPAG and the environmentalist community, he also pushed for the creation of biosafety standards and regulations in the Philippines which has hitherto not existed.

He and his organization PDG was also involved in the anti-mining campaign to prevent Colet Mines to operate and cause destruction in the hinterland forests of Sipalay City in Negros. He also supported the interests and rights of land defenders of Negros, as part and parcel of his advocacy of sustainable agriculture. Before his death, he was one of the lawyers of the families of the peasants slain in the infamous Sagay Masssacre which remains unresolved.

It is with great sadness we have lost another people’s lawyer and another environmental defender.  Ben’s killing occurred at the eve of botanist and environmental defender Leonard Co’s 8th death anniversary. Injustice continues as eight years have passed and not a single perpetrator behind Leonard’s death has been brought behind bars and Duterte government remains inutile in its obligations to bring justice to the slain environmental defender. The DOJ even downgraded the charges against the soldiers that shot the botanist from murder to homicide, a lesser charge.

We are seething with anger on the ongoing impunity and injustice facing environmental defenders under the autocratic government of President Rodrigo Duterte. Environmental defenders will and must continue to resist the Duterte government which is perpetuating a system hostile to environmental defenders but continues to allow environmental destruction.

The perpetrators and masterminds behind Atty. Ben’s death must be tracked and held to account for their crime. Justice for Atty Ben Ramos! Justice for all victims of extrajudicial killings! Defend our environmendal defenders!#


Leon Dulce

National Coordinator

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment


Our hearts bleed for the murder of Atty. Ben Ramos.
On day one of the arrest of Myles and the five others, Atty. Ben came regardless of border and distance because no one was there to assist them on legal matters yet. As the Secretary General of NUPL in Negros Occidental, he chose to be more human and showed up to assess the Mabinay 6 case. He escorted the mothers to see their children at the jail. He slept in an office and ate with us. From then on, he never missed a single court appearance together with the other NUPL lawyers for Mabinay 6. He knew he was targeted, but it didn’t deter his spirit to take the cases of the ordinary folks including Mabinay 6. He always braved the more than two hours traveling to attend court hearings. He made his house a home to the families he defended. He eased tension with humor.
In the short time we spent together, we saw a man of compassion and dedication to the less fortunate. He lived for the people without fear. This legacy he left behind is etched in the hearts of the people he served.

(Grace Cantal Albasin Facebook, 07/11/18)

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(Facebook, 07/11/18)

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(BAYAN MUNA Partylist Facebook, 07/11/18)

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(Facebook, 07/11/18)

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The Philippines: Rights lawyer gunned down in Negros

November 7, 2018

“It is a painful price we have to pay sometimes in the service of the people and as a pledge to the next generations we will leave behind.”

In a statement, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers described him as a “passionate, dedicated and articulate yet amiable and jolly” person who was, for the longest time, “the run-to pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations in Negros.”

Prior to the shooting incident, Ramos, a founding member of the NUPL and secretary general of its chapter in Negros Occidental, was a victim of red-tagging, with public posters tagging him as a member of the New People’s Army.

“These beastly attacks by treacherous cowards cannot go on. Not a few of our members have been attacked and killed before while literally practicing their profession and advocacies in the courts, in rallies, in picket lines, in urban poor communities, and in fact-finding missions,” the NUPL said.

Last week, a kidnapping case was filed against human rights lawyer Kathy Panguban, who, too, assisted farmers and rights advocates in the aftermath of the Sagay massacre. The police alleged that Panguban kidnapped a 14-year-old survivor of the massacre but the lawyers group has maintained that the survivor is in the rightful custody of her mother.

“It is a painful price we have to pay sometimes in the service of the people and as a pledge to the next generations we will leave behind,” the group said.

The NUPL said, “But who will defend the defenders? Our clients will.”

























7 November 2018@

On the cold-blooded murder of
NUPL officer Atty. Ben Ramos


We are shocked, devastated and enraged at the premeditated cold-blooded murder of our colleague and fellow people’s lawyer, Atty. Benjamin Tarug Ramos, our Secretary General for the NUPL Negros Occidental Chapter.

Ben who was 56 years old was shot dead in Kabankalan last
night by motorcycle-riding men while taking a break after he had just finished a legal paper for another of his many pro bono clients. He sustained three gunshot wounds at the right back side and left upper chest of his body and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

The passionate, dedicated and articulate yet amiable and jolly Ben, was a founding member of NUPL. Despite limitations, he was for the longest time the “go-to” pro-bono lawyer of peasants, environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations in Negros.

Earlier, he was maliciously and irresponsibly tagged in a public poster by the Philippine police as among the so-called personalities of the underground armed movement.

Ben is the 34th lawyer killed under the 2-year administration of President Duterte. Excluding judges and prosecutors, he is the 24th member of the profession killed and the 8th in the Visayas.

These beastly attacks by treacherous cowards cannot go on. Not a few of our members have been attacked and killed before while literally practicing their profession and advocacies in the courts, in rallies, in picket lines, in urban poor communities, and in fact-finding missions.

Of late, a number of us have received threats for handling cases of political prisoners, suspected rebels, environmentalists, and suspected poor drug users.

The NUPL and its key officers have themselves been increasingly labelled and branded pejoratively by the police, military, vigilantes, some bigoted columnists, and online trolls, in open contempt of basic principles of the role of lawyers in society.

The head of our Women and Children’s Desk, law professor Atty. Katherine Panguban, is presently being pilloried by the police, landlords and even biased prosecutors for performing her duty in a fact-finding mission and in assisting victims of a massacre of peasants in Sagay, Negros, which Atty. Ben also responded to as part of a Quick Reaction Team.

Atty. Kathy herself is facing absolutely fabricated and unbelievably ridiculous non-bailable police complaints of kidnapping a 14-year old who is in fact in the rightful custody, care and protection of her biological mother.

The killing of our beloved, adorably husky-voiced zany, Ben has distressed all of us, battle-scarred and seemingly undaunted and impervious to threats and dangers while courageously, even at times audaciously, running against the tide of daily injustice, oppression and repression in defense of the defenseless and persecuted.

But who will defend the defenders?

Our clients will.

The people and their various organizations will.

And we the lawyers of the people will not be cowed, will not blink, will not retreat, we will not look the other way, and we will stand our ground. Yet we will close ranks.

We will be there in the trenches in defense of the defenseless. There is no other choice.

It is a painful price we have to pay sometimes in the service of the people and as a pledge to the next generations we will leave behind.

Salamat Ben!
Padayon gid! #


Atty. Edre U. Olalia

Atty. Ephraim B. Cortez
NUPL Secretary General

Atty. Josalee S. Deinla
NUPL Spokesperson
0917546 5798

(Facebook, 08/11/18)

N.B.: There have now been 43 murderous attacks on law workers, 37 deaths with 6 survivors, in the past 28 1/4 months under Duterte. Of those killed 34 were lawyers (includes judges and prosecutors), 2 were paralegals, and one was a Clerk of a Regional Trial Court (not a lawyer but we include as a law worker as it is an attack on the judicial system personnel)

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(L’Observatoire des Avocats Facebook, 07/11/18)

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The Philippines: Lawyer faces raps for taking custody of massacre witness

November 3, 2018

A lawyer of human rights group Karapatan has been charged with kidnapping and serious illegal detention for allegedly taking custody of a witness in the massacre in Sagay, Negros Occidental.

The father of the 14-year-old witness filed the charges against Katherine Panguban, according to Chief Inspector Robert Mansueto, Sagay police chief.

The man sought police assistance on Oct. 30, claiming his son has  been missing since Oct. 27.

The mother of the witness was reportedly accompanied by lawyers and representatives of various militant groups when the boy was taken from the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Mansueto said the man received a call from his wife claiming they were under tight watch in the area where they were brought.

Panguban had earlier denied the allegations, saying the mother of the witness sought their assistance for the release of their son from government custody.

She added that the witness and his mother have raised fears about their safety and are now in Manila.







https://rmn.ph/amay-sa-witness-sa-sagay-massacre-ginpablotter-ang-abogada-sang-karapatan-sa-kaso-nga-kidnapping/ (TAGALOG)