Amnesty International slams gov’t’s human rights policies
Human rights group Amnesty International Philippines claimed Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte has made the Philippines a “far more dangerous place by abandoning human rights values”.
“President Duterte has actively created a climate where anyone can kill or be killed, the poor were the obvious prey but more recently even government officials,” Jose Noel Olano, Amnesty International Philippines Section Director alleged in a statement issued days before President Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“This situation has given anyone a free reign to commit human rights abuses and violations with impunity where social and political division thrive, leading to greater potential for human rights violations,” he claimed.
The group criticized Duterte’s polices on human rights or the lack of it, noting that, “impunity and lack of accountability have been shamelessly displayed at almost all levels of his administration.”
Olano said the President’s human rights agenda went “on a downward spiral” because his administration “does not know how to listen.“
“While the President said in his 2016 speech that ‘his administration shall be sensitive to the State’s obligation to promote, protect and fulfill human rights, especially the poor, marginalized and the vulnerable; that social justice will be pursued and rule of law at all times will prevail’, his human rights agenda basically went on a downward spiral from that time onwards,” he said.
What contributed to this, the group said, was partly the President’s resistance to recommendations put forward by diverse sectors and his shortsightedness in accepting criticisms from the international community.
Duterte’s speeches about keeping the country safe “(have) become a mere lip service,“ Olano said.
“In his audacity to smear human rights, he has rolled back on hard-won human rights protections that are supposed to keep everyone safe, in the first place.”
“Abandoning human rights values and principles is a failure on his part and comes with a huge cost of essentially guaranteeing that no one can ever be safe because the country has become a far more dangerous place,” he added.
AI said it has actively provided past Philippine presidents human rights policy recommendations since 2010, and pointed out that Duterte has not yet presented any clear written human rights agenda for his administration.
“By denying Filipinos of true and lasting justice, this administration will only fuel despair with no limit or end,” he said.
Thousands have been killed in the Duterte administration’s bloody war against illegal drugs since the campaign was launched in July 2016.
Recently, the country saw local government executives, priests and members of the clergy, as well as members of the media being murdered in at times brazen shooting incidents nationwide.
INQUIRER.net has sought for Malacañang’s comment regarding this latest pronouncement of AI on the Duterte administration’s human rights policy but has yet to receive a response as of this posting. /kga
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