Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao
13 May 2012
UPLM Founding Chair Atty. Frederico Gapuz passes away
Lawyer Frederico M. Gapuz, the founding Chairperson of the Union of Peoples’ Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) passed away last Saturday afternoon in his home in Alubijid, Misamis Oriental. He was 77 years old.
UPLM is deeply saddened by the loss of Atty. Gapuz, fondly called Tatay or Manong, for his inspiring and exemplary commitment as peoples’ lawyer, nationalist and defender of peoples’ rights spanning six decades.
Until his demise, he served as the UPLM chair since it was founded in Davao City on July 2005. In 2008, he was also elected as the National President of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL). He was later elevated as the President Emeritus of NUPL.
During Martial Law he was member of the Movement for Civil Liberties and Concerned Lawyers Union in Mindanao, and was imprisoned for his defense of peoples’ rights.
As a nationalist, he once said that his blood boils when he senses oppression and exploitation. As an aspiring lawyer in the 50’s, he was already at the forefront in the fight against the American Parity Rights and the US military bases.
As UPLM chair, he lent a strong voice in Mindanao campaigns for defense of human rights and respect of social justice amidst threats of impunity and militarism in the island.
Our militant salute to Tatay Gapuz who has shown that peoples’ lawyering is a lifetime devotion for the poor who need their rights to be defended.