Subject: Press Statement: Rights lawyers dismiss Aquino gov’t claims as childish showboating
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:49:38 +0800
From: National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers

22 July 2013

At the 2013 SONA: Rights lawyers dismiss Aquino gov’t claims as childish showboating

In a statement released on the day of President Noynoy Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA), the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) said that nothing has really changed fundamentally in terms of human rights protection and promotion under the Aquino Administration.

Atty. Edre U. Olalia, Secretary-General of the human rights lawyers’ group said that the Aquino Administration has an embarrassing and lamentable record of promoting and protecting the Filipino people’s socio, economic, civil, political and cultural rights.

“Let us not be deceived by Aquino’s rhetoric and misleading grandiloquence of his supposed advocacy to ensure the protection of the people’s human rights. His three-year record will show that its claims are infantile showboating,” Atty. Olalia said.

The NUPL stated that cases of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and systematic arbitrary arrests remain unabated since Aquino assumed office. Moreover, there is a remarkable trend of an increasing number of trumped-up charges being filed against leaders and members of legitimate people’s organizations. Impunity remains the order of the day.

Basic social and economic rights like health, shelter and education are deprived and even peddled by this elitist government pretending to have a heart for the poor and oppressed, even as its slip of intolerance for any form of dissent is showing. The NUPL likewise assailed the government’s double-faced misrepresentations and pretensions in pursuing peace negotiations to really address the underlying reasons for the armed conflict. It also condemned the sell-out of our patrimony and sovereignty to foreign interests.

All these are in open violation of international law, principles and standards, it said.

The NUPL finally warned that the people’s freedom of expression and to peaceably assemble should be respected, saying that they are willing to help press charges and complaints even in various international fora. #

Reference: Atty. Edre U. Olalia, NUPL Secretary-General (+63917-5113373)

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“By calling yourselves the ‘people’s lawyer,’ you have made a remarkable choice. You decided not to remain in the sidelines. Where human rights are assaulted, you have chosen to sacrifice the comfort of the fence for the dangers of the battlefield. But only those who choose to fight on the battlefield live beyond irrelevance.”

– Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his message at the NUPL Founding Congress, September 15, 2007

“After long years of experience as a people’s lawyer, I can honestly say it has been a treasured journey of self-fulfillment and rewarding achievement. I know it will be the same for all others who choose to tread this path.”
– Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, NUPL founding chairperson, in his keynote address at the Fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia Pacific ( COLAP V), September 18, 2010