THE NATIONAL Union of Peoples’ Lawyers-Cebu Chapter vehemently condemns the ruthless killing of Atty. Rex Jesus Mario Fernandez, who was shot dead inside his vehicle in Banawa, Cebu City in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon, August 26, 2021.
One of the founding members of NUPL, Atty. Rex has served as legal counsel in numerous human rights cases in Central Visayas including the murder charges of political prisoners Eduardo Sacamay and Jigger Geverola; illegal possession of firearms case of Nito Banga, another political prisoner; and cases of simple disobedience and violations of the Public Assembly Act of 1985 against the “Cebu 8”, consisting of eight individuals arrested for alleged violations of community quarantine rules amid the Junk Anti-Terror Law protest action last June 2020 at the University of the Philippines-Cebu.
He also served as one of the legal counsels for the nullity of the Joint Venture Agreement seeking to modernize the Carbon Public Market between the City of Cebu and Megawide Construction Corp., which was filed yesterday, August 25, 2021, a day before his untimely demise.
Atty. Rex is the 57th lawyer killed under the Duterte administration and the eleventh slain lawyer in Central Visayas within the same period.
The killing of Atty. Rex supports the long-observed spate of attacks against lawyers, paralegals, and human rights workers have dramatically increased as the culture of impunity continues and the lack of investigation and prosecution over thousands of extrajudicial killings in the country.
NUPL-Cebu demands justice and accountability for the killing of Atty. Rex and the unresolved killings of lawyers, paralegals, and human rights workers. We reiterate our call on the Philippine government to comply with its constitutional and international law obligations to guarantee the safety and integrity of human rights defenders, afford protection to the members of the legal profession, and ensure that they can perform their duties without harm, intimidation or harassment.
In honor of Atty. Rex, we will not be deterred. We shall continue rising to the occasion in our promise to uphold human rights for all. We will hold the line even more.
Stop the killing of lawyers and paralegals!
Stop the attacks against human rights workers!
Justice for all the victims of extrajudicial killings!
End the culture of impunity!
(Statement of the NUPL on the killing of Atty. Rex Fernandez, 26 August 2021)