Ilonggos’ Movement Against Terror Act slam attack on human rights lawyer

The Ilonggos’ Movement Against Terror Act (IMATA) condemns the brazen act against Atty.

Angelo Karlo Guillen, secretary-general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL-Panay).

A peoples’ lawyer and a human rights defender, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen was viciously stabbed by two unidentified assailants and with an assistance of two motorcycle riders along Gen. Luna St., Iloilo City in the evening of March 3, 2021.

We, members of IMATA, calls on the Philippine National Police leadership, especially in Iloilo, to conduct a thorough investigation on the incident so that justice will be attained by Atty. Guillen.

We are joining with the Ilonggo public who are raising doubts regarding initial findings that Atty. Guillen was merely a victim of stabbing and with robbery as a motive. We find this suspicious considering the fact that he is a prominent figure of the legal defense team that represents underprivileged sectors of our society.

The near-death condition of Atty. Guillen from the hands of criminals sharply reminds us of similar instances that put to cold blood end the lives of activists Dennis Soqueña, Jorey Porquia, and Randall Echanis, among countless others.

We believe that this is not an isolated case, but rather an outcome of the prevailing culture of violence impelled by this administration who is intolerant of criticism and progressive thinking.

What has happened to Atty. Guillen once again mirrors the shrinking safe spaces for progressive thinkers, public intellectuals, activists, human rights defenders, and active citizens to flourish in our society – Filipinos whose only noble intention is to work for a type of development that advocate equity, equality, and justice.

As a democratic State, we believe that we Filipinos must enjoy freedom as guaranteed by the Philippine Constitution so that we can lead a productive life that is free from fear, intimidation, harassment, and violence from State security forces or groups that espouses brutality and criminality.

We believe further that the alarming trend of violence under this administration is a consequence of the passage of anti-people laws like the Anti-Terrorism Act which effected red-tagging as a norm, encouraged killing of activists, and stirred divisions in our society through

open harassment of Filipinos who are critical against the current dispensation.

Therefore, we call for justice on the barbarity levelled on Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen together with the growing number of Filipino activists whose lives were victimized by government’s promotion of violence and killings.

We enjoin everyone to unite in the fight against violence. Let us continue to demand the junking of the Anti-Terrorism Act. It is time for us to stand up in order to regain the genuine respect that we deserve in the exercise of our inalienable and God-given human rights.


Justice for Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen Now!

Justice for all human rights defenders!