Search Results

News

‘Knock and Plead’ Strategy Puts Lives at Grave Risk

The authorities in the Cordillera region of the northern Philippines have adopted a counterinsurgency strategy drawn from methods used in President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs.”  Known as tokhang, a Visayan word meaning “to knock…
A woman carries a slogan condemning government attacks on activists at a rally to mark International Women's Day, Manila, Philippines on March 8, 2021.
News

Duterte Doubles Down on Brutal Policy, Imperiling UN Program

The Philippine government has extolled a new United Nations program as a clear indication of its commitment to human rights – a spin that flies in the face of the bloody rights catastrophe that is the government’s “war on drugs.” On July 24, Manila…
Families of victims of alleged extrajudicial killings in the so-called "war on drugs" with portraits of their slain relatives on July 9, 2019, in Manila, Philippines.
News

Nonoy Espina Was at Forefront of Struggle Against Attacks on the Media

The Philippines lost one of its foremost press freedom fighters Wednesday night. Jose Jaime Espina, popularly known as “Nonoy,” died from liver cancer just days after recovering from Covid-19, his family said. He was 59. A longtime journalist based…
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines chairman Nonoy Espina speaks to other journalists and activists as they gather to hold a vigil on the eve of the promulgation of the Maguindanao massacre trial on December 18, 2019 in Manila, Philippines.
News

UN Human Rights Council Should Launch Own Investigation

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s chilling promise to “drug pushers, holdup men, and do-nothings, you better get out […] because I’ll kill you” may finally come back to haunt him. Today the International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou…
Protesters hold up pictures of victims of extrajudicial killings during Human Rights Day protests in Manila
News

Case Underscores Law Enforcement Failure to Use Body Cameras

The killing on Monday of a woman allegedly by a drunken, off-duty police officer has once again put the spotlight on abusive police conduct in the Philippines. The fatal shooting in Quezon City of Lilybeth Valdez, a 52-year-old mother, was caught on…
Veiled protesters, mostly relatives of victims of alleged extrajudicial killings by the police
News

General Eleazar Opens ‘Drug War’ Case Files to Investigators

Two recent developments signal possible improvement in the conduct of the Philippine National Police (PNP), which has been deeply implicated in President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly “war on drugs” and other abuses. One was the announcement Monday by…
Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar
News

61 Lawyers Murdered During Duterte Administration

More lawyers have been killed in the five years since President Rodrigo Duterte took office than under any other government in Philippine history. Data collated by the news website Rappler found that 110 lawyers were killed from 1972 to the…
Protesters hold signs during a rally in front of a giant banner that reads, "Stop The Killings."
News

Court Recognizes Urgency of Climate Crisis

Increased heat, more frequent forest fires, and other extreme weather events fueled by climate change are already harming children in Europe today and governments are not doing enough to cut emissions and prevent catastrophic impacts on children’s…
Portugal Wild Fires
News

Police Accuse Tribal School of Training Child Combatants

On Monday, police in the central Philippine city of Cebu raided a temporary school for displaced Indigenous children and detained 26 people, including 19 children. Police allege the school was training children as “armed combatants” for the communist…
Arrested teachers and adult Indigenous students confer with their lawyer while detained in a Cebu City jail. 
News

President Says He’ll Block ABS-CBN Even with New Franchise

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared this week that he would not recognize any new license granted by Congress to ABS-CBN, the major television network that the government forced off the air in July 2020. Duterte repeated his claim – already…
Employees light candles outside the headquarters of broadcast network ABS-CBN corp. on May 5, 2020, after the network was ordered to halt operations after its congressional franchise expired, in Quezon city, Metro Manila, Philippines.
News

Long Overdue Investigation of Deadly Practice

The Armed Forces of the Philippines surprisingly announced this week that it was investigating Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr. after he accused a journalist of “aiding terrorists by spreading lies.” The military’s provost marshal was tapped to lead the…
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Jr.
News

House Passes Bill Increasing Age of Sexual Consent to 16

The Philippines House of Representatives took an important step this week to protect children with the passage of a bill raising the age of sexual consent from 12 years, one of the lowest in the world, to 16. The proposed legislation, which must still…
Members of Congress convene at the House of Representatives in Quezon city, metropolitan Manila, Philippines, in this May 31, 2017 file photo. 
News

Abuses Rampant in Debold Sinas’ Previous Assignments

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas as the new head of the Philippine National Police (PNP), despite the officer’s troubling human rights track record. Sinas did little to assuage concerns, vowing at his oath-…
Major General Debold Sinas
News

Latest Data Shows Police Killings Rising amid Covid-19 Pandemic

Last week, the Philippine government released new statistics on the country’s “war on drugs,” showing that police killed 46 people during anti-drug operations in August. Human Rights Watch had reported a more than 50 percent increase in “drug war”…
Police officers secure the road leading to the House of Representatives where President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27, 2020 in Metro Manila, Philippines.
News

‘Drug War’ Deaths Rise Dramatically as Country Reels from Covid-19

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte administration’s bloody “war on drugs” worsened during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to the government’s own statistics. Police killed 50 percent more people between April to July 2020 than they did in the…
Police officers secure the road leading to the House of Representatives where President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27, 2020 in Metro Manila, Philippines.
News

Troops Allegedly Mistreated 3 Tribal Members, Forcing One to Eat Feces

Soldiers in the Philippines allegedly detained and beat three Indigenous people in Zambales province, northwest of Manila, and forced one detainee to eat human feces. The incident occurred on August 21, after the Philippine military began…
Filipino army troopers patrol a street in the Philippines in the early morning, March 15, 2020. 
News

Support at UN Human Rights Council Crucial to Establish International Inquiry

Last year, European Union member states at the United Nations Human Rights Council voted decisively in support of a resolution mandating the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on grave rights abuses in the Philippines. The report,…
Veiled protesters, mostly relatives of victims of alleged extra-judicial killings, display placards during a protest outside the Philippine military and police camps
News

Duterte Government Should Stop Threatening Activists

A longstanding human rights organization in the Philippines disclosed on Monday that two of its officers, along with several activists working for other groups, had received death threats. In a series of tweets, Karapatan, a left-wing political group…
Zara Alvarez
News

Duterte Administration Had Once ‘Red-Tagged’ Both as Insurgents

On August 17 in the central Philippine island of Negros, unidentified gunmen fatally shot Zara Alvarez, a legal worker for the human rights group Karapatan. Alvarez, 39, was the thirteenth human rights defender killed in the Philippines in the past…
Zara Alvarez
News

Reinstating Capital Punishment Risks International Condemnation, Sanctions

The plummeting human rights situation in the Philippines got even worse this week as the government began considering bills to reinstate the death penalty. The move by the House Committee on Justice came a week after President Rodrigo Duterte used his…
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a late night live broadcast in Malacanang, Manila, Philippines, April 3, 2020.