The In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) and the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) condemn in the strongest terms – the continuing attack against human rights defenders (HRDs) in the Philippines which is now compounded by the Duterte administration’s anti-human rights policies and actions that are creating a more hostile environment for human rights work.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in many instances has repeatedly threatened to kill human rights defenders who are criticizing his bloody “war on drugs” that already claimed more than 13,000 deaths including innocent civilians and children. By recently declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army as “terrorists” and by ordering the immediate arrest, not only of armed rebels, but also of all members of the "legal fronts" supporting them, he just made an open season for further attack against the human rights defenders.
Today iDEFEND launches 10 days of Global Action in Defense of the Right to Life, culminating on December 10th, human rights day. It does so with trepidation in the midst of fierce and relentless mobilizations towards a so-called revolutionary government or “revgov” by supporters of President Duterte.
The process by which it is being pushed is highly suspect. RevGov movers first attempted to mobilize last February 25, barely a year into Duterte’s presidency. Using 4Ps beneficiaries, the DILG and DSWD seem to be leading the effort. That the “revgov” would result in the removal of all government positions, abolish the Constitution and concentrate power into the hands of one man throws us back to the demolition job of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, whose despotic rule left no democratic institution standing.
“Rebolusyong Duterte” laban sa oligarkiya sa pulitika at
“tanging si Duterte ang makakapamuno dito”.
Nangunguna sa pagbabando dito ang koalisyong Tapang at Malasakit ni Presidential Daughter at Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, kasama ang mga namamag-asang makapasok sa pulitika,pati dating rebeldeng sundalo at “rebolusyonaryo”, at ang mga Marcoses.
Sisikapin sa pangalawang pagtatangka mula Pebrero 25, 2017 (EDSA Anniversary), na may maipakitang “popular support” ang naturang hakbang. Katuwang ang ahensya ng gubyerno, tulad ng DSWD at DILG kasabay ang presyur sa mga barangay officials, tinutulak ang pagpapalahok/ paghahakot ng mga “supporters”.
"Duterte is a gross human rights violator who uses the war on drugs as a tool to impose authoritarian rule in order to inflict unopposed, anti-people economic policies, towards further exacerbating human rights violations against the Filipino nation. He has effectively undermined the spaces and opportunities for engagement with civil society as well as government’s obligations to human rights."