Philippines

The Philippines is a vibrant democracy but is hobbled by a long history of patronage politics, poor governance, and corruption. In spite of recent economic gains, poverty remains widespread, fueling the long-running Communist and Islamic insurgencies as well as terrorism. Human rights violations such as summary killings, torture, and enforced disappearances have declined under the current Aquino administration, but continue to occur regularly, often as part of security force actions in these conflicts. Attacks on journalists, human rights defenders, political activists, and members of tribal groups happen frequently. Impunity for rights abuses persists largely because of a dysfunctional criminal justice system as well as state forces’ resistance to accountability.