NUPL asks SC to stop police from surveillance, threatening its members

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THE NATIONAL Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to issue a temporary protection order to stop state agents from conducting surveillance and allegedly threatening its members. The NUPL members — including its president, Edre U. Olalia, and chairperson, senatorial candidate Neri J. Colmenares — also asked the SC to direct the government to disclose all facts and information gathered about them, including records, and photographs, among others, and have them destroyed. In the petition, they said its members have been subjected to various attacks including harassment and killing and even tagging them as an affiliate of communist groups. “In the instant case, the pattern is crystal clear: Petitioners are harassed not for their individual actions as lawyers per se, but for being members of the NUPL and the cases, clients and issues they take on,” NUPL said. “Given the context, history and contemporaneous statements and events, Petitioners have a well-founded belief that the respondents herein and their agents are responsible in many ways for the attacks against NUPL and its members,” it added. Formed in 2007, NUPL is a voluntary association of human rights lawyers. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas