December 2019

Defend Human Rights! Stop all Aid to the Philippine Military and Police! Stop the Killings!

International Human Rights Day 2019

In 2019, the Philippines has continued its slide towards authoritarianism, placing human rights defenders and government critics and all those working to improve the lives of ordinary Filipinos in grave danger. As we mark International Human Rights Day, we denounce the human rights tragedy that we see unfolding in the Philippines.

Every day, the situation appears to become graver with new measures by the Duterte Regime to oppress, harass and murder social and human rights activists. Martial Law has effectively been expanded beyond Mindanao to cover many areas of the Central Philippines including Negros, Samar, Leyte and Sothern Luzon. The apparatus of the government under Duterte is increasingly controlled and coordinated by military and ex-military officials giving it a junta character similar to the brutal regime of Ferdinand Marcos. Many Filipinos are worried the Duterte government is laying the ground for open authoritarian rule with its “shoot-to-kill” and arbitrary arrest policies.

Political and drug related killings and arbitrary arrests continued unabated through 2019. Amnesty International reported in July of this year that in the three years since President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed the crackdown almost 27,000 people have been killed in either police anti drug operations or by unknown perpetrators. In addition, Karapatan reported that over 1,000 civilians were killed in military actions related to the War on Terror in Marawi City; over 222 political killings; 111 documented instances of torture; 85,236 victims of threat, harassment and intimidation; 368,391 who have suffered due to indiscriminate firing and aerial bombing; and 447,963 internally displaced who were subject to forced evacuation (Dec. 10, 2018).

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