International watchdog CIVICUS Monitor downgraded the state of fundamental freedoms in the Philippines from “obstructed” to “repressed” due to the vilification of activists, attacks on human rights defenders and journalists, and the passage of the Anti-Terror Act of 2020.
Rights group Karapatan documented 353 victims of extrajudicial killings, 188 of which were human rights defenders, linked to the government’s counterinsurgency program since July 2016.
The Commission of Human Rights said the president, through his pronouncements, has created a “dangerous fiction” that it is legitimate to commit atrocities against rights workers because they are “enemies of the State.”
At least 5,942 alleged drug personalities have also been killed under the internationally condemned war on drugs, according to government data. The figure, however, is significantly lower than estimates by human rights watchdogs of as many as 27,000 killed.