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Upsurge in Attacks on Activists, Community Leaders, Rights Defenders

(Manila, January 13, 2021) – The Philippine government’s “drug war” killings intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, as did unnecessary arrests during lockdowns, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Attacks by the police,…
Detainees sleep in an open basketball court inside the Quezon City Jail in Quezon City, Philippines on July 24, 2020. 
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

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.
News

Young People Locked in Dog Cages, Coffins, Stripped Naked

Philippine authorities have subjected children to absurdly abusive treatment for violating curfew and quarantines rules imposed to limit exposure to COVID-19. Police and local officials in several parts of the country have mistreated…
A screenshot of an officer with five youths locked inside a dog cage after breaking curfew in Laguna province, the Philippines on March 20, 2020. © 2020 Facebook
News

COVID-19 Response Should Respect Detainee Rights

(Manila) – Philippine authorities should respect the basic rights of people detained for violating the government’s COVID-19 regulations, Human Rights Watch said today. Police and local officials have confined those arrested to dog cages and forced…
A screenshot of an officer with five youths locked inside a dog cage after breaking curfew in Laguna province, the Philippines on March 20, 2020. © 2020 Facebook
News

Upsurge in Attacks on Activists, Environmentalists

(Manila) – The Philippine government’s murderous “war on drugs” remained the Philippines’ gravest human rights concern in 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2020. Security forces were also implicated in often deadly…
Veiled protesters, mostly relatives of victims of alleged extra-judicial killings, display placards during a protest outside the Philippine military and police camps
News

Government, Rebel Forces in Negros Should End Unlawful Attacks

Killings in the Philippines’ Negros Oriental province surged over the weekend, with the 14th fatal shooting on Negros island in a week. Media reports said gunmen shot dead Anaciancino Rosalita in a public market in Canlaon City. Local activists…
Supporters shout slogans as they hold paper crosses bearing names of killed people from Negros Oriental province during a rally in metropolitan Manila, Philippines on Monday, April 8, 2019.
News

Lowering Age of Criminal Responsibility Would Impede Rehabilitation

(New York) – Philippine legislators should reject a draft law to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 to 12, Human Rights Watch said today. Both houses of the Philippine Congress appear set to approve a bill that would incarcerate greater…
In this photo taken last year in Manila, children are detained in a Bahay Pagasa detention center, the same type of facility the Philippine government plans to use  under a proposed new law that would lower the age of criminal responsibility. (c) 2018 Car
News

‘Drug War’ Killings Continue; Attacks on Activists, Journalists Rise

(New York) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration heightened its repression in 2018, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019. The government’s murderous “war on drugs” expanded to cities outside Manila.…
Activists hold a candle light vigil for victims of the extra judicial killings in the drug war of the government in front of a church in Manila on September 16, 2016
News

New Police Campaign Has Nabbed 8,000 Suspects, Many Detained in Overcrowded Jails

  (Manila) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) should immediately end a “crime prevention” campaign that has disproportionately targeted “loiterers” in low-income areas of Manila and other cities, Human Rights Watch said today. Since June…
Detainees sit next to an anti-drug mural of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte inside the Manila City Jail, October 16, 2017.
News

Failing Drug Screening Could Have Deadly Consequences

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs” may soon place thousands of primary school children in harm’s way. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) announced on Friday that it is seeking the…
Mourners watch as Kian delos Santos, a 17-year-old student who was shot during anti-drug operations, is buried in Metro Manila, Philippines, August 26, 2017.
News

Catholic Priest, Journalist Are Latest Targets of ‘Riding-in-Tandem’ Killers

On June 11, in the northern Philippine province of Nueva Ecija, Father Richmond Nilo of Zaragosa town was preparing Mass when an unidentified gunman entered the church and killed him. A few days earlier, on June 7, an assailant shot and killed…
A Catholic nun displays a placard as she participates in a procession against plans to reimpose death penalty and intensify drug war during "Walk for Life" in Luneta park, Metro Manila, Philippines February 24, 2018. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
News

Nod to Due Process Underscores Wider Accountability Deficit in ‘Drug War’

The Philippine National Police (PNP) did something extraordinary this week: It took action to protect the rights of criminal suspects. On Monday, PNP chief Oscar Albayalde declared that the police will stop parading criminal suspects in…
Oscar Albayalde arrives for the National Police chief handover ceremony in Camp Crame, Quezon City, metro Manila, Philippines, April 19, 2018.
News

Stronger Official Action Needed to Combat Asia-Pacific’s Fastest Growing HIV Epidemic

The Philippine Senate passed a bill on Monday that would amend the country’s 20-year-old AIDS law, and which promises to improve the government’s response to the HIV epidemic, the fastest-growing in the Asia-Pacific region. The draft…
Students receive free condoms at an event organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Metro Manila, July 11, 2014.
News
The new Netflix drama series Amo, inspired by the Philippine government’s real-life “war on drugs,” presents a sinister revisionist take on an ongoing human-rights calamity. Amo’s Filipino director, Brillante Mendoza, has described the…
Participants display placards as they participate in a procession against plans to reimpose death penalty and intensify drug war during "Walk for Life" in Luneta park, Metro Manila, Philippines February 24, 2018.
News

Dela Rosa Already Linked to Alleged Crimes Against Humanity

The Philippines’ new Bureau of Corrections Director Ronald Dela Rosa has a killer attitude toward his new job. Literally. Dela Rosa, who retired last month as director general of the Philippine National Police,…
Ronald Dela Rosa talks to President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacanang presidential palace in metro Manila, Philippines, January 19, 2017.
News

Presidential ‘Joke’ Sets Back Reproductive Health Efforts

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte demonstrated reckless disregard for the health of Filipinos this week by suggesting they avoid using condoms because they “aren’t pleasurable.” During an address to returning overseas migrant workers…
201802Asia_Duterte_Condoms
News

One Year Since Politically Motivated Jailing of Senator Leila de Lima

(New York) – The Philippine government should drop its politically motivated prosecution of Senator Leila de Lima, an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s murderous “war on drugs,” Human Rights Watch said today. February 24, 2018, will…
Philippine Senator Leila de Lima, who is detained on drug charges, gestures a "Laban" (Fight) sign inside a local court where she faces an obstruction of justice complaint in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines March 13, 2017.
News

Amid Epidemic, Weak Government Response to Unlawful Firings, Harassment

(Manila) – Workers and employees in the Philippines living with HIV who suffer workplace discrimination often do not seek redress, Human Rights Watch said today. The Philippines has the fastest-growing HIV infection rate in the Asia-…
A supporter lights candles in commemoration of HIV/AIDS victims in the Philippines at a ceremony in Quezon City, Metro Manila, May 14, 2016.
Video
Precious minerals and stones are mined in dozens of countries around the world, and then typically traded, exported, and processed in other countries. Although their supply chains can be long and complex, jewelers and watchmakers have a responsibility to…