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Lawyers, educators, students form group vs EJKs

A group of lawyers, law educators and law students join together to launch the “Mga Manananggol Laban sa Extrajudicial Killings” (Manlaban sa EJK) at the Kamuning Bakery. INQUIRER.net / NOY MORCOSO

A group of young and seasoned lawyers, law professors, judges and law students launched on Thursday a broad alliance of concerned citizens rallying against extrajudicial killings and escalating human-rights violations linked to the government’s brutal war on drugs.

Legal practitioners launched the “Mga Manananggol Laban sa Extrajudicial Killings” (Manlaban sa EJK) to help unite and bring together members of the legal profession “opposed to institutionalized denials of due process and violations of the rights to privacy, presumption of innocence and other basic rights to life, liberty, and security.”

National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers President Edre Olalia, one of the conveners of Manlaban sa EJK, said it is the lawyers’ duty to fight for human rights.


“We believe that lawyers… the duty of lawyers is not to apologize, is not to deodorize, it is not to rationalize violations of rights and due process,” Olalia said during the launch of the organization in Quezon City.

“It is the duty of all lawyers to consistently, uncompromisingly uphold and defend human rights no matter what temporary fleeting positions and circumstances may bring,” he added.

The alliance’s convenors include the following high-profile lawyers and legal practicioners: former Sen. Rene Saguisag; former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares; former Quezon 4th District Rep. Erin Tañada III; University of the Philippines and Lyceum of the Philippines Colleges of Law Dean Pacifico Agabin; De La Salle University College of Law Dean Jose Manuel Diokno; former Ateneo School of Government Dean Antonio Gabriel La Viña; former Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Dean Ernesto Maceda Jr.; Quezon City Judge Cleto Villacorta III; and Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Roberto Eugenio Cadiz.

Others also include longtime professors: Integrated Bar of the Philippines National Center for Legal Aid head Minerva “June” Ambrosio; UP Prof. Victoria “Vickie” Avena; Public Interest Law Center President Rachel Pastores; Arellano University School of Law Department Roberto Rafael “Roel” Pulido; and UP Prof. Evalyn Ursua.

Law student formations also include Association of Law Students in the Philippines (ALSP), Paralegal Volunteers Organization-UP Diliman, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-UP Diliman Chapter, and UP Diliman College of Law Student Government.

The formation is set to hold different mobilizations and forums across the country, as well as legal actions to stop the killings.

“We actually think that the legal aspects, legal strategies to stop EJKs have not yet been maximized, so that’s the very important contribution this group would like to make,” La Viña said. /jpv



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