DOJ ready to probe March 3 attack vs. lawyer in Iloilo City

Published March 4, 2021, 1:16 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Thursday afternoon, March 4, said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is ready to investigate the March 3 attack against lawyer Angelo Karlo Guillen in Iloilo City if the incident is related to his legal advocacies.  

(Panay Today via Tara Yap)

Guevarra said he will refer the incident to the DOJ’s task force under the 2012 Administrative Order No. 35 which created the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations to the Rights to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons.  The DOJ is part of the inter-agency committee.

“If he has good reason to believe that it’s related to his advocacies, I will refer the matter to the AO 35 task force for appropriate action,” the secretary said.

In the meantime, Guevarra said “we’ll wait for Atty. Guillen to make a statement about the incident.”

Guillen is an assistant vice president of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL).  Published reports stated that he was attached by two masked men last Wednesday night, March 3, in Iloilo City.  The incident has been confirmed by the NUPL.

Guillen is the lawyer in one of the 37 petitions filed with the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

He is a known legal defender of activists and human rights advocates.