Human rights lawyer dies on week of martial law anniversary
MANILA, Philippines – Internationally known human rights lawyer Romeo Capulong passed away on the week of the anniversary of Martial Law.
Reports said Capulong died at the Manila Medical Doctors Hospital at 5pm sunday, September 16, due to cardiac arrest. He was 77.
Capulong was known for handling high-profile cases that involve human rights victims. Among the cases he handled include the human rights litigation against former president Ferdinand Marcos, who stayed in power for over two decades after proclaiming Martial Law in the 1970’s.
Capulong also handled the case of Singapore-based overseas Filipino worker Flor Contemplacion; the case of “comfort women” who were seeking justice after serving as sex slaves during World War 2, and; the case of the Payatas dumpsite tragedy.
He was elected to the Constitutional Convention in 1970, and led the opposition to then strongman Marcos.
With the declaration of Martial Law, Capulong was forced to flee to the United States. He returned to the country in 1986, and founded the Public Interest Law Center 3 years later.
He was also a member of the United Nations’ International Criminal Court.