NUPL condemns in the strongest terms the cold-blooded murder of human rights lawyer Atty. Anthony Trinidad in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental after being gunned down by unidentified men. The victim was reportedly scheduled to appear in a court hearing.
Earlier in 2018, Atty. Trinidad’s name was said to be included in a hit list by an alleged anti-communist group called Kawsa Guihulnganon Batok Komunista (KAGUBAK). He has also been receiving death threats due to the cases he was handling, some of which are that of political prisoners in the region. This only proves as well that the perceived dangers of being arbitrarily, maliciously and baselessly red-tagged are neither imaginary nor contrived, but constitute real threats to life, liberty and security.
Atty. Trinidad’s death is added to the death toll of at least 40 judges, prosecutors, and lawyers since President Duterte took office in 2016. This is a manifestation of the culture of impunity that the administration has been perpetuating. How can we believe the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo that the Philippine justice system is “robust, functional, and very effective” when lawyers themselves in pursuit of peace and justice are in the line of fire?
We call for justice for the death of Atty. Anthony Trinidad. Stop the attacks against lawyers!