Philippines: Duterte’s two years in power a human rights calamity

President Duterte has presided over a disturbing regression on human rights that has left the Philippines a more perilous place than when he came to power, said Amnesty International, ahead of his third state of the nation address marking the second anniversary of his presidency.

“President Duterte came to power on the back of a ‘strongman’ image and a promise to be tough on law and order. The reality is, just two years into his presidency, his disastrous policies have made the country a more dangerous place, particularly for the poorest Filipinos,” said Rachel Chhoa Howard, Amnesty International’s Philippines Researcher.

“Instead of combatting a difficult social problem, his ‘war on drugs’ has caused untold damage and misery. President Duterte’s policies – which include directly encouraging unlawful killing - have seen thousands of people murdered with total impunity amid growing lawlessness, with extrajudicial executions in homes and on the country’s streets still happening on a daily-basis.

“As the killing continues, and with no sign of any counter-action at the national level, it is time for the international community including the UN Human Rights Council to mandate an investigation into the Philippines’ appalling approach to tackling drug-related issues.”