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Juan Macababbad

HRD, Lawyer

Juan Macababbad was a human rights defender, public interest lawyer and the Vice Chair of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM). He was also a member of the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL). Juan provided free legal service to poor and marginalized communities and also served as legal counsel for indigenous people, teachers and political prisoners. The human rights defender was a part of several fact-finding missions, including on the massacre of indigenous peoples’ leaders in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

Since the election of President Rodrigo Duterte in May 2016, HRDs have faced a wave of assassinations and violence. Judicial harassment and the criminalization of HRDs remain common; politicians and private actors, such as mining companies, use the justice system to silence those who oppose their interests.