ANDANAR tells human rights watchdogs to uphold the highest level of integrity and credibility to maintain their relevance
The Duterte administration has prioritized human rights and dignity of all Filipinos in the time of the pandemic, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Wednesday, denying a report which claimed that killings in the country worsened during… Read More
MANILA – Malacañang disagreed with the Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) statement that the newly formed inter-agency panel that would investigate more than 5,600 deaths in the administration’s war on drugs is “a ruse to shield the country from international… Read More
MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday urged outspoken critics of the administration’s war on drugs to hold their fire and reserve judgment on the inter-agency review panel that is evaluating the government’s anti-drug operations.”It will be for everyone’s good to allow… Read More
MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday urged human rights watchdogs, including the United Nations (UN), to acknowledge the need for due diligence in validating allegations presented to them.“Establishing the facts behind these… Read More
HRW WORLD REPORT 2020: Duterte’s anti-drug campaign remains as brutal as when it started
The Philippine government’s murderous “war on drugs” remained the Philippines’ gravest human rights concern in 2019, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2020. Security forces were also implicated in often deadly attacks on activists.
“President Duterte’s anti-drug campaign remains as brutal as when it started, with drug suspects being killed regularly across the country,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “Four years into the ‘drug war,’ the need for international mechanisms to provide accountability is as great as ever.”
In the 652-page World Report 2020, its 30th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in nearly 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the Chinese government, which depends on repression to stay in power, is carrying out the most intense attack on the global human rights system in decades. He finds that Beijing’s actions both encourage and gain support from autocratic populists around the globe, while Chinese authorities use their economic clout to deter criticism from other governments. It is urgent to resist this assault, which threatens decades of progress on human rights and our future.
Duterte’s appointment in November of Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee Against Drugs (ICAD) raised hopes that drug campaign violence would be tempered. But Duterte fired Robredo, an opponent of the anti-drug campaign, just days later.
In July, the Philippine National Police reported that its forces had killed more than 5,500 people during drug raids. Local rights groups as well as the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights contend that the number could be more than 27,000. Except for three police officers involved in a highly publicized killing in August 2017, no one has been convicted in any “drug war” killings. Duterte continued to defend the drug war and promised to protect law enforcement officers who killed drug suspects in these raids.
In December 2019, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency reported that its forces had killed 5,552 people during drug raids from July 1, 2016 to November 30, 2019. The International Criminal Court (ICC) had yet to conclude its preliminary examination into “drug war” killings, which it began in February 2018. A UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution on the Philippines adopted in July 2019 directs the UN human rights office to issue a report in June 2020.
There was an upsurge in 2019 in often deadly attacks against left-wing activists, including peasant leaders, environmentalists, tribal leaders, and religious figures who were deemed to be linked to the communist New People’s Army (NPA). Violence was particularly high on the island of Negros, where alleged state security forces killed peasants, their leaders, environmentalists, religious leaders, and their community supporters.
Left-wing, politically active groups faced police raids that resulted in arbitrary arrests and detention. Groups alleged that police planted weapons and other “evidence” to justify the raids and arrests. The government and military frequently labeled these groups and individuals as communist rebels or sympathizers, a practice commonly known as “red tagging.” Some journalists also faced similar political attacks.
As with the anti-drug campaign, the Duterte administration has done little to investigate and prosecute those responsible for politically motivated attacks against activists. Duterte has instead seemingly encouraged such attacks, for instance, in August calling on the military to “implement a more severe measure” against the insurgency.
“There are sadly no signs that President Duterte is going to end ‘drug war’ killings or act to stop attacks on activists,” Robertson said. “That makes it all the more important for international institutions like the International Criminal Court and the UN Human Rights Council to do what they can to hold Duterte and other senior officials to account for their abuses.”
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night warned that he will slap a foreign human rights advocate if he enters the country to help Vice President Leni Robredo end the drug war.
“P******** Leni, sa harap mo sampalin ko ‘yan,” he said in a press briefing in Malacañang Palace.
“I dare you, kung talagang dedicated ka, papasukin mo dito ang p********** ‘yan. Pupuntahan kita sa opisina mo, sampalin ko ‘yan sa harap mo,” he added.
The President said he saw Phelim Kine’s Nov. 11 tweet to Robredo making a recommendation on arresting him and his supporters for allegedly instigating a “mass murder.”
“Dear VP @lenirobredo – my bags are packed and I’m ready to come to the #Philippines to help advise how to end this murderous “drug war,” the former deputy director for Asia of the New York-based Human Rights Watch wrote on Twitter.
“Meanwhile here is my Recommendation No. 1: Arrest #Duterte and his henchmen for inciting & instigating mass murder,” he added.
Philippines’ Duterte Confesses to ‘Drug War’ Slaughter
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte did something extraordinary this week: He confessed. During a speech on September 27, Duterte admitted culpability for extrajudicial killings: “What is my sin?
.@lenirobredo said she already met with government officials and is set to consult with United Nations officers on Monday on “researches and studies about best practices [and] lessons from other countries regarding the campaign against illegal drugs.” http://bit.ly/2CoNzaL
Kine, who is now a director of research and investigations at the Physicians for Human Rights, has been critical of the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and alleged disregard for basic human rights.
The President said he was irked by Kine’s comments because he was “not being given the opportunity to be heard.”
“Of course, I tried answering, I tried to mga disclaimer, nobody is listening,” he said.
Robredo, however, earlier said her office had not sent or received any invitation or letter to or from Kine.
“Wala namang imbitasyon, walang sulat sa amin so mahirap mag-comment. Sa amin lang, lahat ng makakatulong welcome,” she said.
MAYOR Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at Human Rights Watch after the New York-based human rights group asked the Aquino administration to conduct a probe on his alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings in Davao City.
Duterte on Tuesday night, May 19, sent a very brief text message Davao City-based Newsdesk Asia to air his side.
He called the people running HRW “hypocrites.”
“What?!!!??!! US-based human rights wants me investigated?!” he said in the text message. “You are all hypocrites! You cannot even protect the human rights in your own country the American-Africans and other minorities, not to mention your inutility in dealing with the genocide going on in Africa and other countries.”
He also dared the group and other crime watchdogs to come to Davao and experience his brand of justice.
“To all the bleeding hearts of US-based crime watch: You want a taste of justice, my style? Come to Davao City Philippines, and do drugs in my city. I will execute you in public,” he said.