Violence against lawyers and judges in the Philippines continues

Nov. 06, 2008

Once again the Lawyers for Lawyers Foundation (L4L) sends a fact finding mission consisting of lawyers and judges to the Philippines. This time to investigate why the violence against their Philippine colleagues continues. The mission is a continuation of the fact finding mission that L4L sent to the Philippines in June 2006.

The findings of this mission were alarming: Philippine lawyers and judges were on a large scale threatened, intimidated or murdered because of their practice. Notwithstanding the serious allegations that Philippine government military troops were involved, effective government measures were not taken.

In April 2008, the Philippine government claimed in front of the United Nations Human Rights Commission that her approach to the extra judiciary murders was successful and that it had the utmost priority. Although the number of murders has recently dropped, Philippine lawyers and judges still fear for their lives. Since 2001, 22 lawyers were murdered. At the beginning of this year, judge Roberto Navidad was shot in the middle of the day; he was the 15th judge to be killed according to the Philippine Supreme Court. To this day hardly anybody has been convicted for the murders.

The fact finding mission takes place from 4-13 November 2008 and aims to verify the status of the cases investigated in 2006 and to investigate new threats. The fact finding mission will also look into the effectiveness of the measures the Philippine government claims to have taken to stop the extra judicial murders and to bring the culprits to justice. Lawyers without Boundaries also partakes in this mission that furthermore is actively supported by the Dutch, Flemish, Philippine and Amsterdam Lawyers Associations the Dutch Association voor the Administration of Justice, the Judges for Judges Foundation and Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada.

You can read the resum of the IFFM report ‘From Facts to Action’ of 24 July 2006 and the the full report here You can read the Mission Statement here,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,201/.

Press release in Dutch:

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