[Statement] on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists | Centerlaw

#HumanRights #Killings

Centerlaw statement on the recent wave of attacks against lawyers and activists

Bloodshed continues at the hands of the police and military, with the latest crackdown on activist groups resulting in the deaths of nine individuals in the CALABARZON region. This comes immediately in the wake of a public kill order made by the Chief Executive, with a call for the police and military to ignore human rights. The assault on members of the legal profession is likewise unrelenting with the attack on Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen, counsel for one of the petitions against the Anti-Terror Law.

CenterLaw once again condemns the culture of killing and violence that continues to thrive under the auspices of power. The series of violent attacks and arrests that took place within the span of a week is but a grim reminder of the larger pattern of impunity plaguing the country. They are repeated intrusions on fundamental liberties and civic spaces reserved for the healthy and constitutionally protected exercise of dissent. The unbridled use of violence in law enforcement operations is incompatible with the rule of law and has no place in Philippine legal order. What is more alarming is that procedural rules before the courts have been exploited to facilitate and lend legitimacy to the attacks.

CenterLaw calls on police officers and members of the armed forces to carry out their duties with full respect for legal processes and within the confines of the law. We repeat our demand for accountability for all past abuses and to put an end to the terror that has become so commonplace in our society. We also call on the Supreme Court to undertake its duty by promulgating rules aimed at safeguarding constitutional rights. Life and liberty are sacred. They must be protected at all times against any and all forms of threat and attack.

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