Filipino lawyers organization National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) Sunday alleged that 59 lawyers were killed in the course of their work under former President Rodrigo Duterte’s rule. NUPL recorded a total 117 attacks against lawyers during Duterte’s term.
On October 15 and 16, NUPL held their Sixth National Congress, hosting more than 70 lawyers, paralegals and law students from across the Philippines. NUPL outlined its investigations, saying:
[Attorney] Melanie Y. Pinlac, NUPL Assistant Secretary General on the Protection and Welfare of Lawyers, discussed efforts led by the NUPL to close ranks around lawyers under threat, including its continuing documentation of 262 incidents of prima facie work-related attacks and engagements with human rights mechanisms and international lawyers’ groups. She noted that 117 of the reported incidents transpired under the Duterte administration, among which are 59 cases of killings that include the unresolved murders of NUPL members [Attorney] Benjamin Ramos and [Attorney] Juan Macababbad.
According to NUPL, lawyers who represented drug defendants during Duterte’s crackdown on drugs were especially targeted. NUPL claims that the targeting of lawyers has continued under current President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.