[In the news] Rights advocates continue to do mandate despite threats, group tells Duterte -PhilStar.com

Rights advocates continue to do mandate despite threats, group tells Duterte

Human rights groups continue to defend the rights of individuals and communities despite the threats hurled by those in power, Amnesty International Philippines stressed Wednesday.

The rights watchdog made the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte accused human rights groups of seeking to undermine the government.

“For you, human rights [defenders] is ‘the government is the enemy.’ You want to destroy the government,” Duterte said in Filipino, adding that human rights groups should also condemn the killing of innocent people by criminals.

In response, Butch Olano, AI Philippines section director, said that human rights groups here and abroad “have not stopped working even as leaders such as Duterte continue to spew hate rhetoric against various sectors—women, the poor, indigenous peoples, the international community and again recently to human rights groups.”

“We stay focused with our work, despite threats, in order to make sure that hate speeches do not get translated into oppressive policies and unfair treatment. The president should also just stick to what the people have mandated him to do,” Olano said.

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