'Artikulo Tres' lawyers vow to seek justice for drug war victims


Posted at Feb 01 2017 02:59 AM

MANILA - Human rights lawyers who bravely defended those arrested during the Marcos regime have reunited to seek justice for human rights victims in the government's anti-drug campaign.

The daily scene of cadavers on streets and the moving scene of wailing relatives of those who died amid the Duterte administration's war against illegal drugs has already become unbearable to the remaining members of "MABINI" or the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity, and Nationalism.

Former senator Rene Saguisag, Atty. Ramon Esguerra, and other members of MABINI have decided to form a new group to defend the oppressed.

MABINI is a group of lawyers who offered their services free of charge to those who were accused during the Martial Law years.

Saguisag, Esguerra, and the remaining MABINI members are now working with a new batch of young lawyers under Artikulo Tres Human Rights Alliance Inc.

The name Artikulo Tres was coined after Article 3 or Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution.

Saguisag said they will give free legal services to those who are illegally arrested or charged, as well as to the kin of victims of alleged extra-judicial killings.

The group is also gearing up to contest the legality of the death penalty before the Supreme Court if it passes both houses of Congress.

The Catholic church applauded Artikulo Tres as it appeals to other lawyers to also join the group, citing the need to seek justice for thousands who were killed under the government's anti-drug campaign.

Commission on Human Rights chairperson Chito Gascon said that aside from Artikulo Tres, four more human rights groups will join the CHR.

Artikulo Tres and human rights officials will seal their partnership by signing a memorandum of agreement on February 2, the 30th anniversary of the 1987 Constitution. - report from Sherrie Ann Torres