NUPL official stabbed in the head in Iloilo City

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2021 12:32 AM

MANILA - An official of the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL) was seriously wounded after he was stabbed in the head in Iloilo City Wednesday night.

NUPL Panay secretary-general Angelo Karlo Guillen was reportedly attacked with a screwdriver by two men wearing face masks, the lawyers' union said in a statement.

There's still no update of Guillen's condition, as of posting.

Edre Olalia, NUPL president, condemned the stabbing and expressed his support for his injured colleague.

"This is way too much, too many, too brazen, too evil," he said. "He is one of the best and the brightest, among the boldest and youngest. Hold tight, AK. Show these cowards what a fighter you are."

According to Olalia, among the cases Guillen handled is the case of the Tumandoks, an indigenous people community who were the subject of police and military operations late last year. At least 9 Tumandok leaders were killed in these operations.

"He also represents activists and human rights defenders facing trumped up charges in court including the activists arrested during the police raids in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental in October 2019 and the Tumandoks arrested in Panay in December 2020," the NUPL said.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, who also condemned the stabbing, said Guillen was also subjected to red-tagging and was previously detained by police for assisting Labor Day rallyists. 

According to Zarate, the attack came days after a witness in Tumandok case was also killed on Feb 28.

Guillen is also one of the co-counsels in the Supreme Court petition filed by BAYAN left alliance against the Anti-Terrorism Act.

"Guillen serves as counsel in various public interest and human rights cases such as one of the 37 petitions questioning the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020," the NUPL said, adding he was also arrested for responding to the alleged illegal arrest of 42 activists protesting the extrajudicial killing of Bayan Muna Iloilo coordinator Jory Porquia.

The lawyers' group called for a prompt and proper investigation on the assault.

"Since June 2016, NUPL has recorded at least 54 killings of lawyers and judges that are prima facie related their work. In December 2020, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, NUPL, and various legal groups raised concerns over the increasing and alarming incidents of attacks on lawyers before the Supreme Court," it said.

--Report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

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