“It exposes that ‘hit lists’ often translate to killings.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – The killing of another lawyer in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental is proof that red-tagging of rights defenders has dire consequences for their lives and security, says human rights group Karapatan.
On July 23, at around 2:00 p.m. lawyer Anthony Trinidad was shot by unknown assailants. According to CA junks rights defenders’ plea for protection
“Petitions for the writ of amparo and habeas data that we submitted to the Supreme Court were premised on various incidents of red-tagging. Hit-lists are enumerations of targets. It is meant to harass, but it is also an explicit threat to one’s life. The fact that these lists include names of community leaders, activists and human rights defenders point to the conclusion that these violations are systematic and methodical,” Palabay said.
Stop the killings
The family of Trinidad said he was a “kind-hearted, soft-spoken person who was willing to go out of his way to help people in need.” As of now, they do not know the motives behind his killings or even the perpetrator.
They are appealing to the government to help their family to seek justice for Trinidad and get the perpetrators behind jail as soon as possible.
“This spate of killings in our country and the culture of violence have to stop. We cannot and should not constantly live in fear. Stop the killings,” the family said in a statement.
With Trinidad’s death, the NUPL said, there have been 40 members of the legal profession, judges, prosecutors, and lawyers, killed 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?” said Cortez.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Negros Oriental Chapter also expressed strong condemnation to the “horrific and gruesome murder of Atty. Anthony Hernandez Trinidad.”
“No words could sufficiently express the disgust and indignation we feel towards the appalling murders of our brothers and sisters in the legal profession,” the IBP-Negros said in a statement.
“We demand justice. We hope that the criminals behind these atrocious acts will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We continue to pray for the safety and protection of everyone,” they added.