Filipino lawyer from Iloilo awarded for championing human rights

Published August 9, 2022, 8:43 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY – Filipino lawyer Angelo Karlo Guillen has been awarded the 2022 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty by Human Rights First, an international non-profit organization based in the United States.

The award is in honor of the principal founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“Angelo Guillen is a courageous and effective advocate whose work has made a difference in the lives of his fellow Filipinos and put a spotlight on abuses and calling for accountability,” said Human Rights First President Michael Breen in a statement.

Guillen, a member of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), is the first Filipino to win the award.

Guillen survived an attack here last March 2021. His head was stabbed with a screwdriver by one of two assailants.

Guillen is one of the lawyers for a petition filed before the Supreme Court against the Anti-Terrorism Act.

“This award will encourage us even more, to continue our work defending human rights and civil liberties in the Philippines, even in these difficult times,” said Guillen in a statement.

Guillen has been handling cases of Left-leaning activists and their supporters in Panay Island.

Among Guillen’s clients are members of the Panay Bukidnon indigenous people who survived simultaneous police raids in Calinog, Iloilo and Tapaz, Capiz last Dec. 30, 2020.

Guillen plans to personally receive the award in a ceremony in the United States later this year.