Lawmakers seek probe vs profiling lawyers of red-tagging victims

Lawmakers condemned and called for a probe into the Philippine National Police (PNP) profiling lawyers who represent activists red-tagged by the government.

Makabayan lawmakers, along with Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman and Quezon City 6th District Representative Kit Belmonte, filed House Resolution No. 1657 on Tuesday, March 16.

"Therefore, be it resolved as it is hereby resolved, that the House of Representatives, through the committee on human rights, condemn and conduct an investigation, in aid of legislation, on the PNP's profiling of lawyers of red-tagged individuals," the lawmakers said in the resolution.

What profiling?

The resolution came days after police in Calbayog City, Samar, were revealed to have asked a local court to provide a list of lawyers representing individuals that the government believes to hold links with the New People's Army. (READ: Lives in danger as red-tagging campaign intensifies)

The House lawmakers also noted that the profiling coincided with the soaring number of lawyer killings in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte.

According to a count by the National Union of People's Lawyers, 61 lawyers* have been killed during Duterte's five years in power, compared to the 49 lawyers killed in the span of 44 years, from Ferdinand Marcos to Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.