The Integrated Bar of the Philippines and several known lawyers have revived an Arroyo-era network and committed to oppose "repressive" measures during what they called "the most violent administration in our history."
Former vice president Jejomar Binay, former Commission on Elections chairman Christian Monsod, former congressmen Neri Colmenares and Erin Tañada, and a number of law school deans are among the members of the Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties (CLCL), which was relaunched at the IBP headquarters in Pasig City on Monday.
"Not since the dark years of Martial Law have our civil liberties and fundamental rights been threatened and blatantly violated with such brazen impunity," the CLCL said in a statement.
"Thousands of poor drug suspects, activists, human rights defenders, lawyers, religious, media, indigenous peoples and other victims die under the most violent administration in our history," they added.
The group claimed that venues for legal remedies are "by and large essentially ineffective or frustrating to the victims."
The network said it commits to organize lawyers and law students to oppose policies and actions that violate rights and civil liberties; issue statements and legal positions on major issues and "provide legal support to the people;" hold awareness-raising forums and protest actions; and, help to form a people's movement "for the protection and promotion of human dignity, human rights and civil liberties."
The convenors of the CLCL also include Adamson University College of Law dean Anna Maria Abad; former University of the Philippines College of Law dean Pacifico Agabin; former solicitor general and former IBP president Joel Cadiz; IBP president Domingo Egon Cayosa; Hilda Clave; Colmenares; De La Salle University College of law founding dean Chel Diokno; Jojo Lacanilao; former Ateneo School of Government dean Tony La Viña; and Marlon Manuel.
NUPL president Edre Olalia; University of Cebu College of
Law dean Rose-Liza Eisma-Osorio; Ateneo de Davao College of Law dean Manuel Quibod; Ateneo Human Rights Center executive director Ray Paolo Santiago are also convenors.
During the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, CLCL criticized what it said were human rights violations by the government, including alleged extrajudicial killings led by the now-convicted general, Jovito Palparan.
The group also filed a petition before the Supreme Court against charter change. —LDF, GMA News