Lawyers in the Philippines under attack

    Since February 2005 at least ten lawyers and at least one judge were murdered in the Philippines.  Many others are intimidated daily, threatened and are being followed.  Most murders are committed by men on a motorcycle who shoot their defenceless victim in the back while driving by.

    Not one single of these murders on lawyers and judges in the last five year was solved.  The targets have one and the same characteristic: they are human rights lawyers and critical judges that have been using their legal knowledge in defending victims of land expropriations, the massive militarisation and the living conditions of the millions of poor in the country.

    Since the government of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came into power five years ago already 700 activists were murdered in a similar manner: journalists, trade unionists, priests, farmer’s leaders, human rights activists and lawyers.

    The involvement of the military in these killings is clear.

    The International Association of Democratic Lawyers has set up a solidarity campaign with the lawyers and judges under threat in the Philippines and has taken or participated in several initiatives.

    Statements and Resolutions

    30 August 2016Solidarity with the peace process in the Philippines

    The International Association of Democratic Lawyers supports the following call for international solidarity with the peace process in the Philippines: Supporting the renewed peace process: A call for international solidarity for a just and lasting peace in the Philippines During the recent exploratory talks on the 14‒15th of June...

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    7 April 2016IADL condemns the actions of the Philippine government against the farmers in Kidapawan

    English | Français The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental organization with consultative status in the United Nations, condemns the massacre of farmers in Kidapawan, Mindanao, Philippines on April 1, 2016. IADL also deplores the injuries of hundreds of farmers and the illegal incarceration and detention of...

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    11 November 2013International Association of Democratic Lawyers calls for international law enforcement in the South China Sea

    IADL is concerned about the increasing tensions between countries in the region regarding security and navigation safety in the South China Sea and the increasing potential for conflict which poses a direct threat to peace, stability, security in Southeast Asia. The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental...

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    1 December 2009IADL condemns killings in the Philippines

    IADL condemns killings, calls for an end of support to Arroyo governement and to send mission to Philippines The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) strongly condemns the extrajudicial killings of our 2 Filipina colleagues and an unprecedented number of journalists and civilians in the Maguindanao massacre last 23...

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    13 June 2009Resolution on Human Rights Violations in the Philippines

    17TH Congress General Assembly of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers RESOLUTION CONDEMNING RAMPANT HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND IMPUNITY, PROTESTING THE PRESENCE OF US TROOPS, AND CALLING FOR THE RESUMPTION OF FORMAL PEACE TALKS IN THE PHILIPPINES WHEREAS, the Philippines has become a flashpoint of intensified violations of human rights...

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    13 December 2008IADL bureau condemns the continuing attacks against lawyers and judges in the Philippines

    The IADL bureau condemned in its meeting in Paris  the continuing attacks against lawyers and judges in the Philippines and urges the Philippine Government to immediately take effective measures to stop the killings and disappearances. WHEREAS, there has been a resurgence in extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances in...

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    8 December 2006Philippines blacklisting human rights lawyers


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    11 April 2006Resolution on the attacks on civil liberties in the Philippines

    IADL expresses serious concern at its bureau meeting in Havana over human rights violations in the Philippines Further to our unanimous resolution on June 10, 2005 in our 16th Congress in Paris where we condemned the attacks on members of the legal profession in the Philippines especially those servicing...

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    Campaign News

    17 September 2010International Association of Democratic Lawyers hopeful about quick release of Morong 43 after meeting with Sec. of Justice De Lima

    A delegation of the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers met on 15 September 2010 in Manila in the office of the Department of Justice with Secretary of Justice Ms. Leila de Lima to express concern about the situation of the Morong 43 health workers. The delegation was composed of Jeanne Mirer (US), president, Osamu...

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    4 December 2009NUPL press statement: Until ‘butchers’ in Ampatuan massacre are convicted, lawyers will wear black armbands, ribbons in courts

    As a symbolic way to demand speedy justice for the victims of the Ampatuan town massacre, human rights law group, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), has directed all its 300 lawyer-members in the country to wear black armbands or ribbons especially whenever they appear in courts until the...

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    15 April 2008National Union of Peoples Lawyers (Philippines) joins IADL

    April 15th, 2008 The recently founded National Union of Peoples Lawyers from the Philippines applied for IADL membership. The application was accepted at the IADL bureau meeting held in Geneva. NUPL was represented at that meeting by attorney Cheryl Leoncio Daytec. More information on NUPL can be found at...

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    13 March 2008Atty. Edre Olalia adresses UN Human Rights Council on behalf of IADL on killings in The Philippines

    Speaking before the United Nations Human Right Council’s (UNHRC) 7th session on March 13, lawyer Edre Olalia backed the recommendation of Hina Jilani, special representative of the UN secretary general, “that the situation of human rights defenders be one of the elements to be examined in the upcoming Universal...

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    25 March 2007Philippines: Attacks on lawyers

    Excerpt from Repression & Resistance, The Filipino People vs Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, George W. Bush, et. al., Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Second Session on the Philippines, The Hague, The Netherlands, March 21-25, 2007. The country is not only a dangerous place for journalists and activists but for members of the legal...

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    12 March 2007The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal second session on the Philippines held in the Hague (Holland)

    In recognition of the urgency of the appeal of the Initiating Group of Philippine organizations, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal  convened the Second Session on the Philippines in March 2007 in The Hague (Netherlands). In 1980, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal convened a Session on the Philippines to hear the case...

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    8 March 2007Seeking Answers: Probing Political Persecution, Repression & Human Rights Violations in the Philippines : updated report

    A joint Women’s Human Rights Delegation on behalf of IADL, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the International Justice Network and the National Lawyers Guild visited the Philippines from  May 25th 2006 to June 2nd 2006. The delegation composed of Tina Monshipour Foster, Rachel Lederman, Vanessa Lucas, Judith Mirkinson and...

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    Background documents on the persecution of lawyers in the Philippines