Philippines

Assault on civic freedoms persist in the Philippines despite UN joint human rights programme

On 24th July 2021, the Philippines government and the UN formalised a human rights programme that aims, on paper at least, to address the country’s human rights problems. Despite this, in recent months, activists have been arbitrarily arrested on trumped up charges and even killed by security forces. The government is also adopting “drug war” measures against activists and there have been cyberattacks on human rights alliance Karapatan. Read more

Assault on civic freedoms persist in the Philippines despite UN joint human rights programme

Killings and fabricated charges against activists persist as ICC investigation moves forward

In recent months, the killing of activists and fabricating of changes against them have persisted. Reports also showed the killing of lawyers has escalated under the Duterte administration since 2016. After nine sittings in nearly four months, the Supreme Court on in May 2021 wrapped up the oral arguments on the petitions by civil society against the draconian anti-terror law. Human rights defenders also urged the Supreme Court and Department of Justice to review the rules on issuance which has been routinely used to judicially harass and arbitrarily detain activists. Concerns continue to be raised about the freezing of bank accounts of civil society groups for allegedly being terrorist fronts. Read more

Killings and fabricated charges against activists persist as ICC investigation moves forward

Activists and journalists targeted as draconian anti-terror law challenged in the Philippines

In recent months, human rights defenders, trade unions and journalists have been arrested on fabricated charges and killed. The Department of National Defence terminated a decades-old agreement that prohibits state forces from entering University of the Philippines' campuses without prior notice to school officials while security forces raided an indigenous Lumad school in Cebu City. Civil society groups are challenging the draconian anti-terror law in the Supreme Court. Read more

Activists and journalists targeted as draconian anti-terror law challenged in the Philippines

Attacks, red-tagging of activists in the Philippines persist as UN fails to support investigation

In the last few months, human rights defenders have been killed or arrested, the crackdown on the media has persisted and celebrities have been red-tagged. Further, there were arrests of individuals protesting against the Anti-Terrorism Act and around the State of the Nation Address. Read more

Attacks, red-tagging of activists in the Philippines  persist as UN fails to support investigation

Attacks on the press and critics persist as UN report on the Philippines finds widespread violations

Over the last two months, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, top broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced off the air while prominent journalist Maria Ressa and her former colleague were convicted for ‘cyber-libel’ in another blow for press freedom. The authorities have also pursued journalists and social media users for criticism of the handling of the pandemic. Civil society is seriously concerned that the new anti-terror bill will facilitate abuse of power and erode democracy, while a new UN report details widespread human rights violations and persistent impunity. Human rights defender Teresita Naul remains in prison on trumped up charges while the red-tagging of activists has continued. Read more

Attacks on the press and critics persist as UN report on the Philippines finds widespread violations

Civil society in the Philippines decry restrictive laws, smear campaigns and judicial harassment

Over the last few months, harassment and attacks against journalists and activists have persisted in the Philippines. Attempts were made to shut down ABS-CBN, the largest media network, while cyber-troll armies were mobilised against government critics. Legislation against terrorism is being pushed through that undermines civic freedoms while civil society groups are facing judicial harassment, raids and smear campaigns. Government critic Senator de Lima has spent three years in detention. With the COVID-19 pandemic President Duterte has pushed through legislation that further threatens free speech and abuses against curfew violators have been documented. Read more

Civil society in the Philippines decry restrictive laws, smear campaigns and  judicial harassment

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

Over the last few months, critics of the President have been charged with sedition and other offences and journalists have been killed. Further, a anti-fake news bill has been tabled in the Senate which could restrict freedom of expression. Left and indigenous activists have also been killed and there are increasing attacks on lawyers. Read more

Philippines human rights body launches national inquiry as attacks against activists persist

Despite progress on HRD bill, attacks against activists and media persist in the Philippines

A Human Rights Defenders bill moved closer to become law in June 2019 after it was approved by the House of Representatives. Despite this, the UN says the situation of human rights continues to deteriorate. In March 2019, more charges were filed against critical news outlet Rappler while in April 2019, activist Bernardino Patigas was killed by an unknown gunman. Further, NGOs are facing scrutiny under the guise of fighting terrorism and money laundering and are taking the threats against them to the Supreme Court. Read more

Despite progress on HRD bill, attacks against activists and media persist in the Philippines

Indictments against news site Rappler an attempt to intimidate and control the pubic narrative

News website Rappler and its chief Maria Ressa is facing two indictments for cyber-libel and taxation that human rights groups believe to be politically motivated. Government critic Senator Leila de Lima has spent two years in arbitrary detention. In January 2019, Randy Felix Malayao, a human rights defender and peace consultant for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) was shot dead Read more

Indictments against news site Rappler an attempt to intimidate and control the pubic narrative

Human rights lawyer assisting families of slain sugar farmers in Sagay gunned down

On 6th November 2018, human rights lawyer Benjamin Ramos was gunned down by unidentified men in the Philippines. Ramos had recently been providing free legal assistance to the families of nine sugar farm workers who were killed in Sagay City on 20th October. Read more

Human rights lawyer assisting families of slain sugar farmers in Sagay gunned down