The Human Rights Lawyers Association of Aotearoa/New Zealand strongly condemns the murder of Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio. We extend our deepest sympathies to Attorney Felicio’s family, friends and colleagues at the NUPL.
The NUPL has an impressive record of standing up for the marginalised of Philippine society and supporting human rights around the World. The murders of five NUPL members over the past decade are an injustice that should concern lawyers around the World. We call for an end to violence and intimidation against lawyers and other human rights defenders in the Philippines for simply doing their job.
The murder of Attorney Felicio must be fully investigated and the perpetrators held accountable.
Andrew Britton and David Tong
Human Rights Lawyers Association Aoteoroa New Zealand
Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio, a member of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers, was gunned down while working on a land dispute in Rizal, east of Manila. Two caretakers of the disputed land were also injured in the attack.
Attorney Felicio was involved in important legal work, such as launching a private prosecution against those allegedly responsible for the infamous 1986 kidnap, torture and murder of Filipino trade union leader Rolando Olalia and his driver Leonor Alay-ay. He also was a member of the Quick Response team, staffed by members of the NUPL and human rights organisation Karapatan, to immediately respond to cases of human rights abuses, such as extrajudicial killings of political activists committed by the security forces and paramilitary groups. He provided legal advice to clients in a number of land disputes.