Instead of investing in a life of dignity for the poor, the government pursues the path of killing and retribution
Human rights advocates led by In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Freedom From Debt Coalition (FDC) gathered as early as 10:30 Monday morning near the Diliman Doctors Hospital in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City to fly banners that show the latest human rights statistics in the two years of President Duterte’s term.
iDEFEND highlighted the human rights crisis in the country triggered by the government’s war on drugs, which they said crippled democratic processes and institutions and created a culture of fear, violence and death even among the youngest Filipinos.
Spokesperson Ellecer Carlos said that the failure of the drug war hinged on the fact that “instead of investing in a life of dignity for the poorest in society, the government pursues the path of killing and retribution; instead of strengthening the rule of law and due process the President employs political persecution against his critics and undermines the democratic foundations of the country; instead of a rights-based governance, the President neutralized government’s check and balances.”
“The result is the continued proliferation of drugs in the country, the exoneration of big drug personalities, increased abuse and corruption among law enforcement agencies, 27,000 victims of extra judicial killings, and no lasting solution to the drugs issue,” he added.
“Amidst these are the rising prices of goods, utilities and transportation brought on by the TRAIN Law which exacerbates people’s economic suffering and removes opportunities for Filipino families to uplift themselves from poverty, and may make them doubly vulnerable to drug related activities” ” added Rose Trajano, PAHRA Secretary General.
The group also condemned the proposed charter change being pushed at the House of Representatives, saying it is nothing more than an attempt to consolidate power for Duterte towards establishing his brand of dictatorship.
“The draft federal constitution removed a strong human rights framework and weakened constitutional guarantees against human rights violations,” Ms. Trajano said, “that means impoverished, struggling Filipinos may have lesser access to justice and protection from abuse under the proposed federal system.
In the afternoon the group joined the United People’s SONA mobilization in Commonwealth Avenue.
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