Dear President Duterte:
The undersigned Partners of the Bertha Justice Network are writing to express our outrage at the killings of thirty-four lawyers during your Administration, in the context of tens of thousands of extrajudicial killings by state officials and paramilitary allies since 2016.
The crisis of attacks against lawyers is highlighted by the November 6, 2018 assassination of Attorney Benjamin Tarug Ramos by assailants on motorcycle in Kabankalan, Philippines.
We demand that your government immediately investigate the killings of Attorney Ramos and the other lawyers killed, and investigate and prosecute all killings by government officials or groups connected to officials.
The Bertha Justice Network is a global network of human rights and movement lawyering organizations working in pursuit of social justice in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
Extrajudicial killings of activists and political dissidents by state actors, and killing and intimidation of lawyers fighting state-sponsored violence are a coordinated attack on the rule of law in the Philippines. They are also a clear violation of the international human rights of Philippine lawyers and other citizens.
Bertha Justice Network members resolve to follow the progress of the investigation into the killing of Attorney Ramos, and to continue to monitor the situation of lawyers, activists and others under threat for their legal professional and political activities in the Philippines.
As a network, we stand in strong support of our members who are engaging with allies and national governments throughout the world, and the UN human rights system, to ensure protection of internationally guaranteed human rights in the Philippines.
Center for Constitutional Rights
Centre for Applied Legal Studies, South Africa
Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo, Colombia
EarthRights International, United States
Equal Education Law Centre, South Africa
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Germany
Foundation for Fundamental Rights, Pakistan
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Hungary
Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, United States
LBH Masyarakat, Indonesia
Legal Resources Centre, South Africa
Michael Sfard Law Office, Israel
Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Gaza
Proyecto de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales, Mexico
Socio-Economic Rights Institute, South Africa