Dispatch from Crame No. 563: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Killing of another HRD, Atty. Anthony Trinidad, on July 23


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A day after the President spewed rhetoric on a better life for Filipinos, another human rights defender was shot dead in Negros. It seems that this administration’s idea of a better life for Filipinos is one without its critics – where peace comes from the barrel of a gun.

Atty. Anthony Trinidad, a lawyer for political prisoners in Negros, was reportedly among the names in a hit list by an alleged anti-communist group. This recent spate of killings in Negros is aggravated by the President’s Memorandum Order No. 32 which puts the entire Negros island under increased military deployment.

Recall that in 2018, human rights lawyer Atty. Benjamin Ramos, who provided assistance to families of slain sugarcane farmers in Negros became the 34th lawyer killed under the Duterte administration. In April 2019, another human rights defender, Bernardo Patigas, was killed in Negros Occidental.

In the last 3 years of the Duterte regime, attacks on critics and the poor will be relentless. But so is our resolve to put an end to this terrible nightmare. This latest incident underscores the compelling necessity and urgency for the passage into law of the Human Rights Defenders’ Protection bill, which I refiled this 18th Congress.

Hustisya para kay Atty. Trinidad! Stop the attacks! Stop the killings! Tuloy ang laban! ###

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