A tribute and salute to Atty. Connie Brizuela
November 30, 2009
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Union of Peoples' Lawyers in Mindanao
UNITY STATEMENT of UPLM’s 3rd Mindanao Assembly. November 28, 2009
PEOPLES’ LAWYERS, STRENGTHEN OUR RANKS AGAINST ATTACKS!
INTENSIFY THE FIGHT AGAINST IMPUNITY & MAKE THE ARROYO ADMINISTRATION ACCOUNTABLE!
ADVANCE THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF OUR PEOPLE!
e--- 100 peoples’ lawyers, paralegals, law students, and legal workers from all over Mindanao--- gather today without our two brave members who were supposed to be with us during our 3rd Mindanao Assembly of Peoples’ Lawyers.
Our dear colleagues, Concepcion “Connie” Brizuela and Cynthia Oquendo, were executed on November 23, 2009 along with 64-and-counting journalists, women, ordinary folks in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao Province in what is now infamously called as the “Ampatuan Massacre.”
In the twilight of its fascist and corrupt rule, the Arroyo government has shown that it is not merely capable of subverting the Constitution through Charter Change, or getting away with scandal-after-scandal of corrupt deals. It is capable of allowing the murder of the biggest number of journalists in a single sweep in the world, and the biggest number of civilian casualties not caused by natural calamities in the country.
Having attained power through electoral fraud, the Arroyo government had established and strengthened the pillars of its illegitimate rule, to wit: a militarized civilian bureucracy, a clique of loyal and bribed generals lording over the state security apparatus, a horde of deadly but vote-ensuring ruthless political warlords, an elite-dominated and docile Congress, and a steady flow of military aid especially from the United States. All are responsible for the culture of impunity for killings, for corruption and plunder, and for the mockery of the rule of law.
By all indications, we will not see a definite exit of the Arroyo ruling family even as the May 2010 general election nears. We must therefore act more resolutely and with haste to frustrate the desperate schemes of the Arroyo government to stay in power.
We must exact justice not only for the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre but also for the more than 1,000 victims of other extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances all over the country. We must intensify our efforts to actively legally represent our people in the prosecution and penalization of criminals, death squads, and their military and civilian patrons. We must exhaust all fora for the campaign against impunity such as the United Nations human rights system, the Commission on Human Rights and other international human rights agencies. We must continue to work with our people in the grassroots and strengthen our pledge to pursue the ends of justice in their favor.
We must participate in the electoral exercise to advance the people’s interest for true social, economic, and political reforms. The 2010 elections pose a huge challenge as the Automated Election System may be used by the ruling party to perpetuate itself in power.
In view of the socio-political milieu of our 3rd Mindanao Assembly, we put forward the following demands and commitments:
Today, our Union is not two less weaker. The blood of our two martyred women lawyers has nurtured our resolve to puncture and end the culture of impunity that has revived the nightmare of Martial Law in our country today.
Lest the Arroyo government think that killing lawyers, journalists, and human rights defenders will make us cower in fear, she is mistaken. We will work to stop this impunity. And work we will until we, together with the rest of the Filipino people, are able to uproot impunity from its source--- Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!
PEOPLES’ LAWYERS, RELENTLESSLY & MILITANTLY PURSUE THE ENDS OF JUSTICE!
Eldest daughter, Sunshine, weeps at her mother's funerall
Photo by Barry Ohaylan
Fr. Peter Geremiah, PIME, officiates mass for Atty. Connie
Photos by Barry Ohaylan.
UPLM Secretary General Carlos Isagani Zarate during the mass for Atty. Connie
Photo by Barry Ohaylan
Atty. Eduardo Estores, UPLM Davao City Chapter Chairperson,
remembers Atty. Connie was one of her students in UM College of Law
PHoto by Dr. Jean Lindo
Paying their last respects to Atty Connie Brizuela
Photo by Barry Ohaylan
|Walk against impunity|
WALK AGAINST IMPUNITY. Lawyers led by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Davao and Union of People's Lawyers in Mindanao call for justice for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and all the victims of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances under the Arroyo regime. (Barry Ohaylan/davaotoday.com)
Photos courtesy of Barry Ohaylan
|Atty. Connie Brizuela, one of the 57 victims of the Ampatuan massacre: as peace advocate and activist human rights lawyer|