On the murder of lawyers under the state of tyranny

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people, and the community of lawyers and legal professionals, in condemning the killing of Atty. Juan Macababbad in Surallah, South Cotabato last Wednesday. Atty. Macababbad, vice-chair of Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao and member of Bayan Muna, is known for his defense of human rights and the rights of the downtrodden people.

The killing of Atty. Macababbad comes just a few weeks after the murder in Cebu City of Atty. Rex Fernandez, another human rights lawyer and member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL).

We view the killing of attorneys Macababbad and Fernandez as part of the Duterte tyranny’s continuing campaign of murder and terrorism to sow fear among the people, silence all forms of dissent and paralyze the people to disable them from fighting back against worsening forms of oppression. All these form part of the scheme of the ruling regime to perpetuate itself in power.

The legal system, in particular, is under intense attack with the murder and red-baiting of lawyers and judges and the filling of dockets with trumped-up charges against activists and dissenters.

Everyday, the democratic rights of the people are wantonly being violated by military and police forces on the pretext of “counterinsurgency” and “anti-terrorism.” In the countryside, rights violations are a daily occurrence as entire communities are cordoned and placed under military control. In the cities, workers’ unions and student organizations are relentlessly harassed and coerced to “pledge loyalty” to the Duterte government.

Indeed, there is no freedom under fear, as the Integrated Bar of the Philippines pointed out. Amid this climate of murder and impunity, we urge all lawyers to strengthen their determination and heighten their courage to stand up for justice and fight alongside the people to uphold freedom and democracy.

On the murder of lawyers under the state of tyranny