CA’s denial of NUPL’s amparo and habeas data petitions further endangers lawyers in PH

“The Court of Appeals’ denial of the petitions for writs of amparo and habeas data of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers aggravates the already dangerous situation of lawyers in the Philippines. Along with the court’s denial of a similar petition by human rights and development workers, the CA’s most recent decision speaks of the ineffectivity of domestic mechanisms for the protection of human rights defenders and communities,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.

Earlier this year, the NUPL has filed petitions to seek for protection amid the intensifying attacks such as harassment, vilification, and intimidation that are believed to have been perpetrated against them by the State.

“In recent months, we’ve seen an orchestrated and patterned attacks against lawyers and other human rights defenders. The members of NUPL itself have been subjected to threats that have led into extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances,” Palabay said. 

“With the intensifying crackdown on individuals who constantly choose to side with the oppressed and marginalized, we are truly saddened with the recent CA decision. NUPL has always been committed to serving its purpose of assisting those in need, but our courts seem to disregard this fact by routinely rejecting petitions for protection filed by various groups,” the Karapatan official said.

“It is rest assured that we will continue standing with NUPL in this fight for justice and fairness. Should they contest the CA decision at the Supreme Court, we will support our embattled lawyers. We urge the High Court to see this matter as an urgent one. Several groups have already filed the same applications because of the actual threats we are receiving, alongside the number of killings of human rights defenders and peasants in the countryside. It is high time to stand for what is true and just,” Palabay concluded.