Lawyers League for Liberty
The Lawyers League for Liberty (LIBERTAS) is an association comprised of lawyers and other civic minded individuals “committed to law and justice reform, democracy and human rights promotion, and the advocacy for good governance in the Philippines”.
LIBERTAS was established on February 2, 2002, during the 15th anniversary of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. It was formally launched in Manila on July 15, 2003 by then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, Hilario Davide Jr. Within five years, it established a network not just in the Philippine scene, but internationally as well.
LIBERTAS receives its funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), as well as project funding from the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) and the US Agency for International Development. It also receives support from the National Institute for Policy Studies (NIPS), The Asia Foundation, and the British Council.
The international support that LIBERTAS receives underlines the importance of its work and the legitimacy of its mission.
Executive Committee and Affiliations
The executive committee of LIBERTAS is comprised of five members: Jose Luis Gascon, Roberto Cadiz, Raquel Ruiz-Dimalanta, Luie Guia and Vincent Yambao, Jr.
LIBERTAS is affiliated with various other groups seeking the same reforms demanding good government and the educational awareness of the public. It is a member of the Asian NGOs Network on National Human Rights Institutions (ANNI), which is a network of over 20 non-government human rights organizations.
LIBERTAS also has ties with the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) and the Transparency and Accountability Network (TAN). LIBERTAS also supported the group Pera and Pulitika by creating the handbook on Philippine Election Finance Laws used by the group as a reference
LIBERTAS acts as the legal arm of several advocacy groups, such as for the Consortium on Electoral Reforms (CER) and Pera at Pulitika. It has organized and participated in strategic planning sessions, a 2005 prison art exhibit, and public forums to discuss key issues in electoral reform, government transparency and human rights issues.
The group also conducts education seminars on various legal rights and human rights issues geared to educate different groups to empower them. In 2009, it held a Child legal rights seminar. It also conducted an education seminar for teachers regarding the tenets of law. It has also organized a Paralegal training seminar for inmates of the New Bilibid Prison.
LIBERTAS also uses its website to post articles on several key electoral issues and other areas of concern of the group. This provides easy and instant access to anyone who needs information that the group can provide.
- Libertas Philippines Website. (accessed April 3, 2010)
- PCIJ. (accessed April 3, 2010)
- Facebook. (accessed April 3, 2010)
- Ifes. (Accessed April 3, 2010)