“From Day 1, the respondents only issued general denials, resorting to technicalities instead of answering our petition.”
NUPL President Edre Olalia pointed out that Duterte himself publicly threatened human rights defenders and all supposed communist fronts.
“Labeling, discrediting, threatening, and attacking lawyers are against the basic principles of lawyering, the State’s duty to protect them and the delivery of justice.”
“If the government doesn’t want us to give services to victims of human rights violations, that is no justification to open us to attacks.”
“Why is the president putting much more store into this foreign intelligence body than that of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) which denied there was such an Oust Duterte plot?”
“The Honorable Court cannot sit idly by and allow state forces and their agents dictate how law ought to be practiced and eliminate lawyers who chose to represent the marginalized from the face of this land,” the petition read.
The IADL said that the military’s red tagging of NUPL contradicts Article 16 of the Basic Principles, which mandates governments to ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions “without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.”
“Even more outstandingly ironic is that we as international lawyers made time to see things firsthand on the reported attacks on our peers and brethren out of genuine concern and who in good faith humbly put forward concrete recommendations for consideration by the authorities are ourselves the object of attack.”
“The more serious the crime, the less serious the investigation.”
“If they can kill lawyers, then they can practically kill anybody.”
“We cannot expect to be able to fight for justice if we cannot protect the peoples’ lawyers.”