ATTY. KAKA J. BAG-AO is an alternative lawyer and a human rights advocate. She began her formal education in the Loreto Central Elementary School in her hometown in Dinagat Islands. Atty. Bag-ao eventually came to Manila and graduated with a degree in Political Science at De La Salle University in 1989 and finished her Juris Doctor degree at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law in 1993. She was a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow and studied International Human Rights and Peace at the University of Minnesota in 2007.

She was the lead counsel of the Sumilao farmers, who walked the 1,700 km distance between Sumilao, Bukidnon in Mindanao and Manila. She also led the civil society organizations in the passage of the CARPER Law.

From 1993 to 1998, as Coordinator of the Peasant Unit of Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN), Atty. Bag-ao handled litigation work on cases involving agrarian reform, labor, women, urban poor, and the implementation of the Local Government Code on venues for people’s participation in governance.

She organized paralegal committees for different marginalized including peasants, urban poor, fisherfolk, and women victims of violence. Moreover, she conducted seminars on local legislation, recall and initiative, poll watching, popular education, and the role of women in governance and development.

In 2000, Atty. Bag-ao became the Executive Director of BALAOD Mindanaw, an alternative law organization based in Mindanao, working for the advancement and protection of the rights of farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, women, and other marginalized groups through the creative and developmental use of the law.

As Executive Director, she managed the over-all operations and represented the organization in engaging in partnerships with different groups and institutions. She also managed the implementation of programs that include legal empowerment of the poor and marginalized; local and national law and policy development; creation of a network of practicing lawyers to work with the poor; consciousness-raising on alternative lawyering among law students and law schools, among others.

In 2004, Atty. Bag-ao became the Convenor and Council Chair of the Alternative Law Groups (ALG), a coalition of 18 human rights and developmental legal resource organizations working in different parts of the Philippines on various legal issues of and with poor and marginalized groups.

During her term as Akbayan Party-List Representative in the 15th Congress, she was one of the public prosecutors in the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona. She was also appointed as the Legislative Liaison Officer of the Lone District of Dinagat Islands. 

In the 2013 elections, Atty. Bag-ao ran under the banner of the Liberal Party and won as Congresswoman of Dinagat Islands. She was re-elected for her second term in 2016. Her battle cry is "Kalambuan sa Bag-ong Dinagat" (Development in a New Dinagat), a call that seeks to advance people empowerment in order to eliminate political patronage and strengthen the changes that the province has seen in recent years.

She continues her work as a progressive and principled legislator by actively pushing for the passage of several laws that focus on the just and rational use of land resources, environmental protection, food security, LGBT rights and welfare, youth empowerment, and several others. She authored the Reproductive Health Law and the Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act, as well as other progressive legislation such as the National Land Use Bill, the Alternative Minerals Management Bill, the Anti-Discrimination Bill (now known as the SOGIE Equality Act), the Philippine HIV/AIDS Policy Bill, the Agrarian Reform Commission Bill, the Security of Tenure Bill, and the Freedom of Information Bill.

In the 16th Congress, Atty. Bag-ao was the Chairperson of the Special Committee on Land Use. This 17th Congress, she was the Chairperson of the Committee on People's Participation. However, she was removed from the position by the House leadership after she voted against the proposal to reinstate the death penalty in April 2017. Now, she continues her work by championing the approval of policies that are based on the rights and dignity of persons and basic sectors, as well as the conservation of the environment.


Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow
Law and Human Rights
University of Minnesota, United States of America

Juris Doctor 
Ateneo de Manila University School of Law, Makati
Judge de Veyra Scholarship Awardee
Ateneo School of Law Scholarship Awardee

Bachelor of Arts (Major in Political Science)
De La Salle University, Taft Avenue, Manila

High School and Elementary 
Southeastern College, College Road, Pasay City
Loreto Central Elementary School, Loreto, Surigao del Norte


Frederik Ozanam Award, Ateneo de Manila University, 2008

Parangal para sa Natatanging Indibidwal na Katuwang sa Pagsusulong ng Hustisyang Panlipunan, De La Salle University 2009

The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Award for Law, 2010

Rotary Outstanding Surigaonon Award (ROSA) for Law and Public Service, Rotary Club of Metro Surigao, 2013

Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 2013

Rainbow Award, Quezon City Pride Council, 2014

Freedom Flame Award, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), 2015

Office of Rep. Kaka J. Bag-ao (Lone District, Dinagat Islands)
16th Congress of the House of Representatives of the Philippines

Room 214, South Wing, Batasan Pambansa Complex, 
Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Philippines 1126

Trunk Line: (02) 931 5001 local 7275
Direct Line / Fax: (02) 931 9838

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