[Statement] Karapatan condemns the killing of Atty. Rex Fernandez
Karapatan condemns the killing of Atty. Rex Fernandez in Cebu City yesterday, August 26.
As Karapatan’s former legal counsel, Atty. Fernandez handled cases of rights violations, and represented victims and their families in court for years and defended political prisoners charged with trumped-up cases.
A few years after the writ of amparo – a legal remedy to seek protection amidst threats to life, liberty and security – was made available by the Supreme Court in 2007, Atty. Fernandez served as legal counsel in petitions for writ of amparo on a number of cases of abductions and enforced disappearances. Among these were the petition for the writs of amparo for Romulo Robinos, Ryan Supan, and disappeared UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. He also lawyered for peasant activist Noriel Rodriguez and Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas, both abducted, detained and tortured in Cagayan and Tarlac, consecutively, both in the year 2009.
In 2010, he went back to Cebu to continue his law practice there, after his stint with Karapatan. He provided legal services to the eight protesters in Cebu who were arrested while protesting the Anti-Terror Law in June 2020, among other cases.
We join lawyers and fellow human rights defenders in calling to stop the attacks against lawyers in the country. Perpetrators of the killings, from the one who pulled the trigger to the masterminds, should be made accountable and be brought to justice.
The rampant killings must end, together with a regime that has encouraged and enabled the culture of impunity in our country.
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