Stabbing of human rights lawyer in Iloilo condemned
ILOILO CITY—The Wednesday night stabbing of human rights lawyer Angelo Karlo Guillen in Iloilo City has been condemned.
“We, lawyers, only perform the duties we sworn to do and seek to uphold the rule of law regardless who we represent. We are not cowered by a series of attacks against members of the bench and the bar. But we denounce the formative culture of subjecting lawyers to attack for enforcing the rights of the people,” said Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP-Iloilo Chapter) in a statement released Thursday, March 4.
Guillen, who is assistant vice president for the Visayas of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), was stabbed with a screwdriver on his head past 9 p.m. of March 3 after he got out of his vehicle along Gen. Luna Street.Based on CCTV footages, two men wearing facemasks and baseball caps were seen approaching Guillen. One of them stabbed the lawyer. The duo was then picked up by two separate motorcycles and fled.
Guillen has been handling cases of left-leaning activists and supporters in Iloilo and Panay Island. Included are those who survived a deadly police raid a Panay Bukidnon indigenous peoples communities in Calinog town, Iloilo province and Tapaz town, Iloilo province last December 30, 2020. headtopics.com
Guillen was also among those who were arrested last May 2020. Guillen tried to negotiate with police to allow the protest of the killing of activist Jory Porquia even though there was strict lockdown due to the pandemic.Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr., who are both lawyers by profession, also condemned the attack against Guillen.
“Lawyers only do their function to protect their clients,” noted Treñas.“We must condemn this act in the strongest possible terms. No reason can justify that,” Defensor added.Guillen’s attack came days after a barangay captain (village chief) from Tapaz town, Capiz province was killed. Julie Catamin, the 49-year-old barangay captain of Barangay Roosevelt, was said to have publicly spoken out after a deadly police raid killed nine Panay Bukidnon IPs.Read more: Manila Bulletin News »
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