Posted by: nupl | September 22, 2009

NUPL Holds Second Anniversary Celebration

The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers celebrated its second anniversary last Sunday, September 20, 2009 at Katips Bar and Grill, Quezon City.

The event was a huge success, celebrating two years of peoples’ lawyering, and was attended by lawyers and judges, and law students from various law schools. Present were some of NUPL’s founding members, including recent Supreme Court Awardee for Judicial Excellence Judge Cleto Villacorta III, Judge Alfredo Ampuhan of the Quezon City Municipal Trial Court, Karapatan, and Bayan Muna Representative and NUPL Secretary-General Neri Javier Colmenares.  Also present were representatives from Bayan, the Health Alliance for Democracy, or HEAD, and Karapatan, three of the NUPL’s major clients.

Videos were shown during the event, including the well-made documentary by Kodao Productions, Measures Measured: The Philippines Revisited, which tackled the report of the International Verification and Fact-Finding Mission (IVFFM) on Attacks and Filipino Lawyers and Judges. The IVFFM was conducted in November 2008 by the Stichting Advocaten voor Advocaten (the Dutch Lawyers for Lawyers Foundation) in coordination with the NUPL. Another video shown was a simple recap of NUPL activities for the year. Some of those activities included the SAVA IVFFM, the seventeenth Congress of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers in Hanoi, the two legal clinics on the writ of amparo, and the lawyers’ training on the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The first NUPL law school chapter from the University of the Philippines also presented a video of their activities, showing us that even law students can play active roles in peoples’ lawyering.

Law students also attended the party, with representatives from the NUPL UP Law Chapter, the PUP College of Law, Arellano Law, and Ateneo Law School.

Lawyers for Lawyers and the IVFFM, which worked closely with the NUPL, sent a solidarity message congratulating the NUPL on their selfless and untiring human rights work. “[We] strongly believe in the power of the NUPL because we have seen what you have achieved in these past two years. You have an organization with very courageous people who continue to do their work under very difficult circumstances.” The heartwarming message was read by Atty. Edre U. Olalia, who is the NUPL’s Deputy Secretary-General for International Solidarity Work.

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