Friday, July 21, 2006

Report of Investigation to Attacks against Filipino Lawyers and Judges will be released on July 24, 2006

- Press Release -
d.d. 21 July 2006
Lawyers for Lawyers Foundation
Report of Investigation to Attacks against Filipino Lawyers and Judges will be released on July 24, 2006
International mission presents first copy report to the Philippine Embassy in The Hague
An independent delegation of two judges and six lawyers from Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Antwerp, Belgium has investigated the violence against their Philippines colleagues. Lawyers and judges in the Philippines are increasingly victims of serious harassment and intimidation or brutally killed whilst in the process of carrying out their duties.

From 15-20 June, the international fact finding mission has been interviewing victims and relatives of victims in Quezon City, Manila and Tacloban City, Leyte, and the President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and representatives of various human rights and lawyers organizations.

The fact finding mission has also expressed its great concerns against the Philippines authorities about the alarming situation in the Philippines, as a consequence of which lawyers and judges can hardly carry out their legal profession. Since President Arroyo came to power in 2001, at least fifteen lawyers and ten judges have been killed.

As to this date, the killings continue unabated: The most recently killed lawyer is Atty. Evelyn Guballa who was killed on June 21, 2006 in Quezon City, Manila. Atty. Guballa is the fourth fatality of the legal profession this year. New cases of lawyers being threatened and intimidated also appear continuously. The International Fact Finding Mission's report will be released on July 24, 2006.

On that day, members of the Mission presents also on behalf of the Dutch Lawyers for Lawyers Foundation, which has organized the mission, the first copy of the report to the Philippine Charge d'Affaires, Ms Laura Santos, who represents the Philippine Ambassador, Romeo A. Arguelles, who is on holiday leave. The presentation of the report takes place at 3 o'clock pm at the Philippine Embassy in The Hague.


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