Philippine Human Rights Record

No harsh dictatorship like North Korea, no military rule like Myanmar or Laos and no civil wars like in Somalia yet 800 people were victims of extra-judicial killings in the Philippines. Ever since Gloria Arroyo assumed power in 2001, hundreds of people (usually activists, journalists, human rights advocates among some) have reportedly disappeared or have been mysteriously killed. On December 7, 2006 Brian Campbell of International Labor Rights Fund tried to re-enter the Philippines to continue investigations on human rights issues, Campbell had previously visited the Philippines to investigate deaths of trade unionists like Diosdado Fortuna. On December 7, Campbell was informed he was on the blacklist by the Filipino Immigration Authority and was banned from entering the country. He immediately left the country.

The Philippines is also a very dangerous place for journalists, with about 52 journalists killed between 1986 and 2005. Legal harassment such as libel suits have also been used to torture journalists in the country. During the 2006 World Press Freedom Index, the country was among the worst ranked standing at 142 out of 169 counties making it the second most dangerous place for journalists in the world after Iraq.

During the Marcos era, he declared martial law and human rights violations were expected but there is no martial law right now in the Philippines, yet there are a lot of human rights violations. With this being said, the government still has the pride to condemn human rights violators like North Korea and Myanmar. Philippines, look first in your own backyard!

2 thoughts on “Philippine Human Rights Record

  1. Yap…
    Human rights violation had been an issue all this time…

    with or without martial law, with or without dictatorship/military rulling it happens all the time…

    not only in this era but way back our fore fathers when the word human rights is not coined…

  2. Not all “non-judicial killings can be laid at the feet of President Arroyo. Non-judicial killings of journalist often have personal or political motivations rooted at the local level. Most non-judicial killings are the result of “frustration”. People are frustrated by a legal system that does not protect. This frustration causes people to take the law into their own hands. If you fix the legal system, most of the non-judicial killing will stop. A few months ago an innocent Filipino boy wads murdered on the docks of Dumaguete City because he was mistaken for a local drug dealer who had once again escaped justice……set free on a technicality. The innocent boy was from another island and this was his first time in Dumaguete City……sadly it was also his last. About a year ago, a foreigner who was infamous for killing 8 Filipinos while driving drunk TWICE….. then buying his way out of jail….. the man was robbed and killed…. I believe that killing was frustrated Filipinos seeking justice….. the only guilt Manila has for these non-judicial killing is “indifference”

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