Sunday, April 20, 2014

International association of lawyers demands Philippine government to refuse US military basing in the Philippines and calls for the resumption of the peace talks

Press Statement19 April 2014

International association of lawyers demands Philippine government to refuse US military basing in the Philippines and calls for the resumption of the peace talks

The fifty-six countries attending the 18th Congress of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) in Brussels, Belgium made a major declaration today and approved a resolution on the Philippines that not only called on the Aquino government to end any negotiations granting military basing rights to the US but also the pull out of all US troops, facilities and materiel in the Philippines. The same resolution also called upon its member-countries to press for resolutions, legislation and campaigns urging an end to foreign intervention and aggression in the Philippines.

The UN-accredited IADL believes this violates both Philippine and international law and threatens the stability of the Asian region. The more than 400 lawyers attending the IADL Congress also urged the Philippine government to "cease all acts that violate human rights", called for the release of all political prisoners including the peace process consultants and, in recognition of the call of the Filipino people for a just and lasting peace, urged for the immediate resumption of the peace talks between the government and the NDF.

"This is a major statement of the international community that the Aquino government cannot just disregard as it expresses the sentiments of a huge number of lawyers groups around the world and at the same time issued by a prestigious and respected UN-ECOSOC accredited organization" said Atty. Edre Olalia, Secretary General of the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL) which represented the Philippines in the IADL Assembly.

Olalia and NUPL President and Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares were also elected by the IADL Congress to its governing Bureau to serve a 5-year term.

"The Aquino government 's refusal to heed the people's call for a just and lasting peace while it pursues a war mongering policy by allowing the open entry of US military bases is getting the increasing attention of the international community, and rightfully so, Colmenares concluded. # (nc)


Neri Javier Colmenares
NUPL President

Edre U. Olalia
NUPL Secretary General


National Secretariat
National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL)
3F Erythrina Bldg., Maaralin corner Matatag Sts. Central District,Quezon City, Philippines
Telefax no.920-6660
Email addresses: and Follow us on twitter @nuplphilippines and facebook @
Visit the NUPL website at

"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

Resolution of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers
Approved by the General Assembly on 18 April 2014

Resolution Urging  Accountability and Action
against Human Rights Violations in the Philippines

Whereas, the human rights situation in the Philippines is deteriorating, with grave violations of civil and political rights, with killings, disappearances, torture, arrests and harassment of political activists and dissenters in a systematic manner, aggravated with the denial and refusal to decisively act by the present Benigno S. Aquino III administration that engenders continuing impunity;

Whereas, the criminalization of activities of political objectors and of the resistance movement, the filing of trumped-up charges against political activists, the constraints and threats against lawyers who defend them, indicate a misuse, abuse and fascization of the legal system, the very instrument supposed to protect the people from excessive exercise of State power, and a violation of tenets of international law;

Whereas, the illegal and unjustified arrests and continued incarceration specifically of peace negotiations consultants  further pose serious obstacles to the resolution of the roots of the armed conflict via the mode of peace talks;

Whereas, on the other hand, government response to the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) disaster has been miserable, and debases both victim and survivor, making it liable for gross failure, even criminal negligence, to address needs and concerns of the victims.

Whereas, the socio-economic rights of Filipinos are threatened by the the government’s adherence to neoliberal policies principally promoted by the US that entail privatization of services such as healthcare, passive acquiesence to increase in prices of basic utilities, and pursuit of other transactions that are onerous upon the general public;

Whereas, all this is backed by continued US intervention in all spheres of government, especially with the impending signing of the Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation which would openly grant basing rights to US troops on Philippine territory in barefaced violation of domestic and international law on top of its additional detrimental effects on the environment;

WHEREFORE, resolved as it is hereby and hereon resolved by the IADL General Assembly in session at the 18th Congress to call upon the Benigno S. Aquino III government:

(1) To cease all acts that cause or tend to cause the repression and persecution of political activists and members of resistance movements, particularly the filing of dubious criminal charges and the  implementation of  the deceptive  US-inspired counter-insurgency campaign Oplan Bayanihan,

(2) To immediately cause the release of all political prisoners,  including peace process consultants and especially the sick, elderly, women and minors;

(3) To put an end to all executive negotiations granting military  basing rights to US forces and demand the pull out of all US troops, facilities and materiel in the Philippines;

(4) To ensure the protection of lawyers and other human rights defenders from attacks,  including  vilification campaigns and filing of nuisance charges, and putting an end to the state of impunity by resolutely bringing the perpetrators of human rights violations to the bar of justice ;

WHEREFORE, be it further resolved that :

(1) The IADL, heeding the call of the Filipino people for a just and lasting peace, strongly  express  support as it demands for the immediate resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the liberation movement represented by the NDFP ;

(2) The IADL is hereby making a call upon all its member-countries to press for resolutions, legislations and campaigns urging an end to foreign intervention and aggression in all its deceptive variations in the Philippines; and

(3) The IADL commits itself to support the struggle of the Filipino people for genuine national and social liberation.

 18 April 2014, Brussels.

1 comment:

diana jane cervantes said...

Thank you for the information. Maybe, people around the country will be educated by the filipino lawyers about our rights. To understand well this kind of issues.