Baldwin Winner Guillen Visits U.S. to Advocate for Rights in the Philippines
Washington, DC – Angelo Guillen, human rights lawyer from the Philippines who was awarded the 2022 Roger N. Baldwin Medal of Liberty, visits the United States this week to receive the award and advocate for protecting human rights in the Philippines.
“Angelo Guillen is a courageous and effective advocate whose work has made a difference in the lives of his fellow Filipinos,” said Michael Breen, CEO and President of Human Rights First. “We hope that recognizing him with Human Rights First’s Baldwin Medal of Liberty helps him put a spotlight on abuses in his country and furthers his work defending human rights and civil liberties in the Philippines.”
Guillen is a leader in the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL), serving as the secretary-general of their chapter in Panay Island. He provides legal assistance and representation to civil society groups, activists facing political persecution, and victims of human rights violations, especially agricultural workers and indigenous peoples. In 2020, he was part of the legal team that challenged the controversial and draconian Anti-Terrorism Act before the Philippine Supreme Court.
The Baldwin Award will be presented to Guillen at a private event this week. He will also have meetings in New York and Washington, DC, with civil society, the U.S. government, and the United Nations to advocate for greater support for accountability mechanisms and protection of civic space in the Philippines.
Guillen regularly faces threats and danger for his engagement in human rights work. He has been subject to surveillance and “red-tagging” – labeling critics of the Philippine government as communists or terrorists to harass, persecute, and discredit them – including a violent attempt on his life in 2021.
Human Rights First has supported human rights defenders worldwide for decades, including through the Baldwin Award, which Human Rights First presents in even-numbered years to human rights advocates or organizations outside the United States.
The award is named in honor of Roger N. Baldwin, principal founder of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the International League for Human Rights.