Tag Archives: Lawyers

[Statement] Karapatan condemns the killing of Atty. Rex Fernandez

#HumanRights #StopTheKillings

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.

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[Statement] on the ambush of lawyer Rex Fernandez | CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia

#HumanRights #StopTheKillingsPh

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the ambush of lawyer Rex Fernandez

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) condemns the killing of lawyer Rex Fernandez in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Thursday afternoon, 26 August 2021. CHR will be sending a quick reaction team to conduct an independent investigation on this incident.

Fernandez was said to have been ambushed by unidentified assailants when his vehicle stopped at an intersection. The lawyer died on the spot. The lawyer’s driver was reportedly left wounded after the attack.

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[Statement] Profiling of lawyers is an assault to the administration of justice | NUJP

#HumanRights #RedTagging

Profiling of lawyers is an assault to the administration of justice

On March 12, 2021, a certain Police Lieutenant Fernando G. Calabria, Jr., Chief Intelligence Officer of Calbayog City Police Station wrote a letter to the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Calbayog City Hall of Justice “requesting” a list of lawyers representing supposed communist-terrorist group (CTG) personalities in court. The letter shows that the request is supposedly in compliance with the order of “PNP higher offices” to which the data will be submitted. Attached to the letter is a table of the data being requested from the clerk of court, to wit: “Legal Personality, Affiliations, Client (CTG Personality), Mode of Neutralization, Case Filed, and Status”.

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[Statement] Mindanao´s People´s Lawyers decry worsening vilification of lawyers under Duterte´s Martial Law with a stealthily delivered hit-list -UPLM

Mindanao´s People´s Lawyers decry worsening vilification of lawyers under Duterte´s Martial Law with a stealthily delivered hit-list.

It is indefinite terms, a perverse action when lawyers who provide free legal assistance to those who found themselves in the crosshairs of the draconian rule of President Duterte´s Martial Law become targets of annihilation. This leads us to recognize that justice and peace in Mindanao under martial law are indeed an oxymoron.

Of late, Northern Mindanao Region is hugging the headlines for the wrong reasons as fascist and militarist elements released an unsigned, baseless and absurd hit-list which includes lady lawyers of the Musni family. The list is purportedly showing members of the Communist Party of the Philippines. The hit list includes names of priests, nuns, organizations, media personality, a COMELEC employee/law student and other individuals who are critical of the Martial law in Mindanao.

We at UPLM decry the slander and death threat coming from this hit-list to fellow human rights lawyers, Attys. Beverly Musni, Atty Czarina Musni and Atty Beverly Anne Musni and a law student, LA Corrales, and we are angered at this malicious and atrocious action against the persons and organizations on the hit-list. It is already a pattern that after a person is vilified or red-tagged, the next chapter will be death or gallows for such person.

This hit-list may just be a list but it can also be an imprimatur as proven by recent events. Early on, tarpaulin posters were seen in the town of Talakag, Misamis Oriental portraying Datu Jomorito Goaynon as an NPA supporter. A couple of weeks later he and Ireneo Udarbe of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP- NMR ) were illegally arrested and detained. Sergio Atay, a peasant leader from the Western Mindanao region was visited by military men sternly ordering him to stop his involvement with their local (KMP) affiliated organization. He was tortured and murdered after he was interrogated at a checkpoint. This hit-list shows the blood-stained hands of Martial Law at work.

Under the current scheme of things, is it now a crime to serve the under-served, the deprived and the oppressed? It seems so, as according to Free Legal Assistance Group, 14 lawyers have lost their lives in suspect circumstances under Duterte´s administration. Putting our colleagues in this perilous position will only spark people´s lawyering among those in the legal profession. Injustice will only help grow young lawyers and one day they will stand beside us and be led by the people´s thirst for justice.

Under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, lawyers have been murdered in cold blood. Ozamis City´s Judge Edmundo Pintac is the 4th judge and 14th lawyer killed. The murderous Martial Law in Mindanao is a specter that haunts the rest of the country. In the Visayas, lawyer Atty Ben Ramos was killed on November 6, 2018. On that day three bullets ended his enduring pro-bono legal services to the poor and marginalized. The Sagay Massacre case being his last case is still crying for justice on his demise. Powers that be are emboldened upon witnessing that in this country crime pays, that the worst criminals are scot-free, even conveniently seated in the once hallowed halls of the Senate.


For reference
Atty Jose V. Begil Jr

Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM)
Press Statement [February 25, 2019]

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