Caritas PH outraged by killing of human rights lawyer
Atty. Juan Macababbad. PHOTO FROM ATTY. MACABABBAD’S FACEBOOOK
By Aimee Yeo
September 20, 2021
The Catholic Church’s social action arm has deplored the killing of human rights lawyer Juan Macababbad in South Cotabato on Sept. 15.
Caritas Philippines said “outrage is not enough” to describe how they feel with the “gruesome” killing of Macababbad, who is a “champion of social justice”.
“For many of us in Mindanao, his brutal killing puts us in deep sorrow – for Atty. Macababbad is no ordinary lawyer,” it said in a statement.
The national Caritas said that Macababbad is someone they can turn to when no lawyer will take the case of a farmer against land lords and big corporations.
It also said that his free legal services for the vulnerable “are the pillars of hope for most of the indigenous peoples fighting against the tyranny even of state forces”.
“The rural poor of the South takes courage in his presence,” according to Caritas Philippines.
“His savage death meant an indefinite delay for the poor’s access to justice, peace and freedom,” it added.
The lawyer was shot by two assailants outside his residence in Surallah town.
He served as the vice-chairman of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM).
The UPLM said that Macababbad is the 58th lawyer killed under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
The Caritas said it will work with everyone to seek justice for the lawyer and those who died defending the people and nature.
“We will push even harder for accountability especially of those in power,” it said. “We pray for every rights defender. We pray for justice and peace to reign.”
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