Since taking office on June 30, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte has carried out an abusive “war on drugs” in which police have killed more than 5,600 suspected drug dealers and users by January 2020. Thousands more, among them children, have been killed by “death squads” or unidentified gunmen linked to police or local authorities. No meaningful investigation into the killings has been undertaken. Duterte has sought to silence critics of the anti-drug campaign, notably Senator Leila de Lima and news organizations such as Rappler. Extrajudicial killings of leftist activists and indigenous leaders have continued. The government’s response to the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in serious rights violations against those breaking lockdown regulations.

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