Senator Bong Go’s threat of “body bags” shows authorities’ dangerous COVID-19 response
Responding to Philippine Senator Bong Go’s statement about having body bags available for “drug addicts or peddlers of fake news”, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Campaigns Ming Yu Hah said:
“While hospitals are pleading for body bags and other emergency supplies, callous threats from authorities show a tone-deaf government that is unwilling to keep everybody safe during this global pandemic. This dangerous rhetoric must stop now.
“Such dangerous language is never acceptable. Coming so soon after President Duterte’s alarming ‘shoot to kill’ order, this is a clear pattern of incitement that is consistent with the government’s general hostility towards human rights.
“The Senator’s comment also creates a chilling effect on journalists and whistle-blowers who seek to expose gaps and problems in the government’s COVID-19 response. Instead of issuing threats, the Philippine government should put all people’s rights to health and life at the centre of its plans and actions.”
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