The International Association of Democratic Lawyers, in its Resolution on the Philippines during its   November 8-10, 2019 Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium, supported plans to file potential suits against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before different countries for violations of international human rights law.

NUPL President Atty. Edre Olalia

The IADL Council also elected Filipino rights lawyer Edre U. Olalia, incumbent President of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), as transitional IADL President until its next regular Congress in 2020. He has been a member of the IADL governing Bureau together with NUPL Chair Neri Colmenares since 2010.

The IADL was founded in 1947 and has freedom icon Nelson Mandela as honorary chair. It consistently adheres to the principles and objectives of the UN Charter.It was active in formulating international law principles and has worldwide campaigns on, among others, the Cuban 5, Agent Orange, Morong 43, Mary Jane Veloso,  Brasil President Lula, rights and peace issues in Palestine,Iraq, Turkey,  and many others.

In its Resolution, the IADL resolved to “earnestly study the filing of cases in different countries, as may be warranted by the facts and evidence, against President Duterte and all those responsible for the killings, torture and other grievous violations of international law utilizing the principles of universal jurisdiction whenever applicable.”

The IADL, which has progressive and democratic lawyers, jurists, law professors, judges, prosecutors and law student members in 80 countries worldwide vowed “to conduct or support international fact finding missions into those attacks and killings and to urge the Philippine Government to cooperate and allow them entry into the country.”

It vowed to “work and campaign for the withholding or cessation of foreign military aid and a review of trade agreements with the Philippines vis-a-vis respect for human rights and the accountability of violators.”

The IADL, which counts veteran defense lawyers in the International Criminal Court, also “endorsed the pending communications before the ICC for crimes against humanity against President Duterte and to send a delegation and ask an audience with the Office of the Prosecutor on the matter.”

The IADL, which has consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) and which actively engages in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as well as parallel platforms in New York and Vienna,  resolved 

“to support all actions and submit reports in relation to the July 2019 UN HRC Resolution 41/2 on the comprehensive human rights situation in the Philipines,” the reception of data and information of which is currently being undertaken by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Meanwhile, Atty. Olalia’s term as transitional IADL President shall end in November 2020 when the next IADL Congress is held in Johannesburg, South Africa, at which time his regular presidency may be potentially confirmed for a period until 2023.

Meanwhile, he joins Jeanne Mirer of the United States as outgoing President, Jan Fermon of Belgium as outgoing Secretary General, and Micol Savia of Italy as transitional Secretary General on the IADL Transitional Team. 

Present during the recently-concluded IADL Council meeting were 50 lawyers representing 30 nations, namely Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Columbia, France, Greece, Haiti, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philipines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Western Sahara.#

NUPL
The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers was founded September 15, 2007 as a nationwide association of human rights lawyers as well as law students, paralegals and legal workers in the Philippines united by a commitment to the defense, protection, and promotion of human rights especially of the poor and the oppressed. nupl2007@gmail.com | 02 9206660