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HRD Attack

Angelo Karlo Guillen - National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL)

Incident date
March 3, 2021
Date accuracy
All Correct
Angelo Karlo Guillen
National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL)
Lawyers and judges
Beatings & violence
Target: Individual
Location of Incident: Philippines
Export-Import Bank of Korea South Korea Finance & banking
Daewoo E&C South Korea Construction, Engineering


Attorney Angelo Karlo Guillen is the Secretary General of NUPL Panay, in the Philippines. On March 3, 2021, the lawyer was stabbed in the head and back with a screwdriver by two unidentified assailants in Iloilo City. He survived the attempted murder by playing dead. Guillen handles the case of Tumandok and Sagay Massacre victims, when 18 land defenders were arrested on Panay island in December 2020. Nine Tumadok community leaders were also killed in police and military operations in Capiz and Iloilo, while protesting against the construction of the Jalaur Mega Dam in their ancestral lands. The project is financed by a loan from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (KEDF) of South Korea, issued through the Export-Import Bank of Korea in 2012, and is to be implemented by Daewoo Engineering and Construction. Guillen’s colleagues and the human rights community believe the assailants had intended to kill th lawyer who has been Red-tagged and represents 16 members of the i8 ndigenous Tumandok who were arrested. The brutal attack against the lawyer follows the assassination, few days earlier, of Barangay Roosevelt Chair Julie Catamin, a key defense witness for the Tumandok represented by Guillen.

Guillen also serves as legal counsel for various public interest and human rights cases, such as in the petition lodged by 44 progressive groups against the much feared Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 before the Supreme Court. In 2020, Guillen was also arrested for his work relating to the protests against the killing of Bayan Muna Iloilo coordinator and environmental activist Jory Porquia. Guillen is reported to be the 4th NUPL lawyer to survive an assassination attempt since June 2016. At least 56 judges, prosecutors, and lawyers have been killed between June 2016 to January 2021.