134 human rights defenders killed since Duterte assumed office — Lagman
MANILA, Philippines — A hundred and thirty-four human rights defenders have been killed since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office in 2016, a lawmaker said Wednesday.
“134 killed among human rights defenders since the advent of the Duterte administration. That will not project protection of human rights defenders,” Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Human rights defenders are advocates or activists who promote and defend human rights.
Lagman is the sponsor of House Bill No. 9199 or the Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill, which was approved on third and final reading at the House of Representatives on Monday.
Lagman said he hopes Senate will also pass its version of the bill in the 18th Congress.
The House bill guarantees human rights defenders with rights and freedoms including rights against vilification, and mandates State authorities to respect, protect and fulfill these rights and freedoms. It also imposes sanctions to fight impunity, among others.
If it becomes law, the bill will create a Human Rights Defenders Protection Committee chaired by a Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights. It will also have six members who will be jointly nominated by concerned civil society organizations. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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