Duterte hit for causing ‘human rights calamity’


AN international watchdog has included President Rodrigo Duterte in a list of “populist” leaders that pose a threat to democracy, accusing him of flouting the law and inflicting a “human rights calamity” in the Philippines.

In a 704-page report reviewing human rights practices in more than 90 countries, Human Rights Watch (HRW) noted the wave of “unprecedented killings” by police and vigilante groups under Duterte’s “war on drugs.”
More than 6,200 drug suspects have been killed in police operations and by unidentified gunmen since Duterte assumed office six months ago.

“In the name of wiping out ‘drug crime,’ President Duterte has steamrolled human rights protections and elevated unlawful killings of criminal suspects to a cornerstone of government policy,” said Phelim Kine, deputy Asia director of HRW.

“Friends of the Philippines need to make clear that it can’t be business as usual until the killings stop and there are meaningful moves toward accountability.”

The report noted that Duterte considers the killings as proof of the “success” of his anti-drug campaign.
HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth warned of a “new generation of authoritarian populists” seeking to “overturn the concept of human rights protections, treating rights as an impediment to the majority will.”

“Instead of accepting rights as protecting everyone, they privilege the declared interests of the majority, encouraging people to adopt the dangerous belief that they will never themselves need to assert rights against an overreaching government claiming to act in their name,” he said.

Apart from Duterte, the group also expressed concern over the populist leaderships of Donald Trump in the United States, Vladimir Putin in Russia, Xi Jinping in China and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, among others.

“Meanwhile, strongman leaders in Russia, Turkey, the Philippines, and China have substituted their own authority, rather than accountable government and the rule of law, as a guarantor of prosperity and security. These converging trends, bolstered by propaganda operations that denigrate legal standards and disdain factual analysis, directly challenge the laws and institutions that promote dignity, tolerance, and equality,” it added.



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  1. John Chameleon on

    HRW – Hubris’ Rude Watch. You are quick to criticize the Duterte administration but you failed to balance your so-called “human rights” to the rights of the law abiding citizen whose numbers consist the 99%. What you are after for is not the rights every person deserves but to create intrigue for political maneuver that’s clearly intended to destabilize the government. You claim to advocate human rights? Then say something about those innocent children and old people who died in Syria and other war-torn areas because of the bombing done by America and Russia. Go ther, you fraud! Stop meddling with our popular President who’s only aim is to solve the illegal drugs problem, crime and corruption. Beat it, rude watchers!

    BTW, Trisha, you’re reading posts written by Atenestas, UPians, La Sallestas and other known universities of the country. And you may not know it, others are graduates of popular American universities who believe that what Duterte has been doing is for the good of the country. See?

  2. Emilio Bonifacio on

    “Friends of the Philippines need to make clear that it can’t be business as usual until the killings stop and there are meaningful moves toward accountability.”.. Human Right Watch (HRW)

    To HRW, what is “business as usual” in the Philippine setup is the million drug addicts roaming free and inflecting harm to law abiding citizens. What is “business as usual” are the attitude of our leaders turning deaf and blind to crime and corruptions. What is “business as usual” are the country’s politics of “sweet talks and empty promises” perfected by the previous administration.

    The Filipino people can no longer stomach the “business as usual” approach of the past administration. Du30 has the overwhelming and legitimate mandate to clean the country and bring it out from the mess that it was brought into, 28 years after EDSA 1 where the only accomplishment is a shadowed “free and democratic” system. An OVERLY abused “free and democratic” system that provides conducive environment for rascals and criminals, and multitudes of crooks.

    • Why concoct a ‘business as usual’ scenario to justify this admin’s flagrant violations against human rights to dramatize your point of view? The simple story that cannot be denied is that – police accountability has been erased by Duterte in his actions and in his words. The errant police is simply reassigned somewhere else. Where is justice in his actions? I hope not one of your family or friends became a collateral damage in this so-called war against drugs which is probably better called ‘the poor man’s war against a warlord mayor’.

  3. These so-called human rights activists should mind their own business. They have no business meddling in our affairs here in the Philippines. I live in a drug-infested area here in Tondo and it has been a lot more peaceful in our neighborhood since Duterte became President. Thank you Digong! Keep up the good work.

    • At what cost did that peace come about? Have you seen the bullet holes in the body of the alleged drug user/pusher na ‘nanlaban kuno’ in your area? Have you attended a barangay assembly? If not, then be ashamed of yourself and DO NOT claim you live there as you are not a worthwhile member of your downtrodden neighborhood. If you have attended a barangay assembly, were you able to learn if the barangay officials who are supposed to accompany warrant service were really present during the process? In mine, most arrived at the scene after the killing happened. Bullet holes are mostly on top of the head (executed).

      Be a real resident of the place. Know the issues first hand. Help out by being active in your community projects. If you cannot, then you do not belong there. Move out and move on.