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Next PH president must undo Duterte’s ‘rights-abusing’ policies – watchdog

/ 02:53 PM January 14, 2022
Next PH president must undo Duterte's 'rights-abusing' policies – watchdog

FILE PHOTO: A police investigator inspects the body of a suspected victim of extrajudicial killing. INQUIRER FILES

MANILA, Philippines — An international human rights monitor on Friday said the next president of the Philippines should overturn the Duterte administration’s “rights-abusing policies.”

Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Asia Director Brad Adams said in a statement that the past six years of President Rodrigo Duterte “have been an unmitigated disaster for human rights” due to the administration’s “murderous ‘drug war,’ harassment of the media, and killing of ‘red-tagged’ activists.”

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“The next administration should stop the killings, ensure accountability, and support laws that protect basic rights,” he said.

The HRW then called on all presidential aspirants in the May elections to “speak out about all aspects of the human rights situation in the Philippines” and to express “their willingness to fully cooperate” with the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation into alleged human rights violations under Duterte.

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“The seven presidential candidates should speak out about all aspects of the human rights situation in the Philippines, including the ‘war on drugs’, and steps that need to be taken to end ongoing violations, and provide accountability for past abuses. All candidates should also announce their willingness to fully cooperate with the ICC investigation,” the rights watchdog said.

In September 2021, the ICC opened its probe on Duterte’s drug war killings. But it deferred it in November, granting the request of the Duterte administration.

‘Red tagging’

The HRW also noted an increase in the government’s labeling of leftists and opposition as fighters and combatants of the New People’s Army – or “red-tagging” – which, it said, resulted in “violence directed against leftist activists, environmentalists, labor organizers, and human rights defenders.”

“Journalists and media outlets were threatened, harassed, and intimidated, often by people linked to the military or police,” it added.

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, Human rights violation, Human Rights Watch, Rodrigo Duterte
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