UPLM condemns latest threats on vice chair

Dec. 15, 2008

The Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) strongly condemned the new threats directed against lawyer Emiliano Deleverio, UPLM vice chairperson, amid the still despicable human rights situation of the country.

The renewed threats on Deleverio, a Pagadian City-based human rights lawyer, was delivered last week through text message on his cellular phone, warning him to take things easy.

“Atorni au au ha ang imo batasan ky ampay ra ba na sa tagabukid. (Attorney, watch your manners, the people up the hills will surely like you),” the clearly veiled threat reads.

Deleverio received the said threats while he was attending a hearing at Camp Crame, Manila, over an administrative case against Pagadian Police Chief Oscar Buenaobra.

UPLM believes that this renewed threat on Atty. Deleverio came from the same elements who consider public interest lawyering as anathema to their anti-democratic activities. In the past, Atty. Deleverio has been at the receiving end of the military’s ire in Western Mindanao because of his advocacies. He has been subjected to surveillance and harassments for handling human rights cases, including that of Angelina Bisua Ipong, the oldest political detainee in the country today.

Atty. Deleverio co-handled with Atty. Tirsendo Poloyapoy the country’s first successful Writ of Amparo case on the abduction of Ruel Muasque in October 2007.

UPLM is gravely alarmed that attacks on peoples’ lawyers, especially from its ranks, is still happening despite the close scrutiny and criticism made by both domestic and international human rights institutions on the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The recent international mission of foreign lawyers and judges last November 4 to 6 clearly pointed out that killings and harassment of lawyers and judges carrying out their legal duties are continuing, contrary to the rosy “praise releases” and self-serving denials coming from the Arroyo government.

From January 2001 to October 2008, the Counsels for the Defense of Liberties (CODAL) has recorded 22 lawyers and 15 judges who were killed, while 41 human rights lawyers have been subjected to various degrees of attacks.

For reference:

Atty. Carlos Isagani Zarate

Secretary General

UPLM # 0929-689-9266

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