• The Philippines is a multi-party democracy with an elected president and legislature, and an active civil society sector. The government in 2012 adopted important legislation improving reproductive health and domestic workers rights and making enforced disappearances a criminal offense, as well as seeking ways to improve the criminal justice system. Extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances have decreased since President Benigno S. Aquino III took office in 2010. However, harassment and violence implicating military and police personnel against political activists and journalists continue. The country has a vibrant media, but free expression suffered a serious setback when Congress passed a law allowing stiff criminal sentences for online defamation.
  • Journalists light candles for their colleagues killed in Maguindanao province in 2009, at the EDSA shrine in Mandaluyong city, Metro Manila on November 23, 2014.
    The Philippine government of President Benigno Aquino III should take decisive action against torture and extrajudicial killings by the police and other state security forces, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2015.