The Philippines should drop its plan to deploy armed civilian groups to combat criminality as it will worsen the country’s human rights situation, a human rights watchdog said.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said this “dangerous idea” creates additional opportunities for abuse.
Brad Adams, Human Rights Watch Asia director said, “Arming largely untrained and unaccountable militias is a recipe for another human rights disaster under President [Rodrigo] Duterte.”
He added, “By creating a new militia, the Duterte administration seems more intent than ever on shielding the police and military from accountability for serious abuses.”
The group said the country has a long history of arming civilians in militias or other organized groups that have been responsible for extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations.
Last month, Duterte said qualified civilians should “get a gun” and help the government enforce laws.