UN rights experts on Friday called on the UN to enact an independent investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines, citing an increase of unlawful killings and attacks on individuals and institutions defending human rights.
The report illustrates the “staggering number” of unlawful deaths and police killings in context of the “war on drugs,” in addition to killings of human rights defenders. The experts claim that few independent and effective investigations have taken place, independent media and journalists are threatened, the law has been utilized to undermine the freedom of press, and the independence of the judiciary is undermined.
The experts said that over the past three years they have continuously brought such violations to the attention of the government of the Philippines, but no changes have been made.
“It is time for the Human Rights Council to take action against these sustained attacks on human rights defenders and independent watchdog institutions.”
Additionally, the report directly addresses the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte for publicly intimidating human rights defenders, UN Special Rapporteurs, and Supreme Court Judges. The report further states that Duterte has “publicly degraded women through sexist statements” and that he has “threatened to bomb the schools of the Lumad indigenous peoples on the island of Mindanao.”