BAYAN USA mourns the killing of attorney Juan Macababbad and all other people’s lawyers who have been murdered under the Rodrigo Duterte regime. We extend our condolences to his family, loved ones, and colleagues who are grieving at this time.
Attorney Macababbad was an exemplary people’s lawyer and we learn from his example of years of service for the people, taking on cases of impoverished communities for free. We take inspiration from his defense of indigenous peoples, political prisoners, and his efforts to protect the environment. We salute Attorney Macababbad and all other people’s lawyers who use their skills and talents to defend the rights of the Filipino people, instead of using their profession merely for personal gain.
Despite his years of assisting people in need, Attorney Macababbad was attacked by the Duterte administration. He, like so many other people’s lawyers, was harassed and even received death threats for the work that he did. Attorney Macababbad’s murder is part of the Duterte regime’s attacks against its critics and human rights defenders. We hold President Duterte responsible for Attorney Macababbad’s murder and we commit to ending his regime by any means.
To honor his legacy, BAYAN USA will continue to tirelessly build the mass movement to build a Philippines where people are truly free and can practice their collective democratic rights. We will also continue the campaign to pass the Philippines Humans Rights Act to cut aid to the Philippines from the US, which is gaining momentum as more and more people are being exposed to the killings and impunity under the Duterte regime. Let us continue to expose the truth and fight for all oppressed peoples, as fearlessly as Attorney Macababbad did.