A recently-formed global coalition, Investigate PH, just released its first report on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines.
Released to local media late March 16, Investigate PH said the likes of the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) should step in to end the Duterte administration’s widespread culture of impunity that has resulted in massive loss of life.
“We have to act now and save innocent lives while we still can,” said Investigate PH Commissioner Susan Henry-Crowe.
Unless the UN and the ICC step in, the human rights situation in the Philippines will only get worse, according to the Coalition, which said the world bodies must use “all available mechanisms to restrain these state abuses and hold the perpetrators accountable.”
Investigate PH is comprised of civic group leaders and members from all over the world and aims to put pressure on the administration to end the human rights violations that began as soon as Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency in 2016.
Henry-Crowe said there is “a sense of urgency” since killings continue to take place throughout the Philippines, adding that the UN should “rise to the challenge” of putting an end to the government-sanctioned killings.
The Investigate PH report said domestic measures have failed to end the violence against civilians, mostly suspected drug users.
Even lawyers have been targeted and killed, and the perpetrators usually getting away with the crime.
The report said public mistrust in the judicial system remains high, even as political repression by state forces such as the Philippine National Police has intensified.
The Duterte administration usually reacts to such reports as interference in the country’s internal affairs.
Duterte faces charges before the ICC after he steps down from office next year. He has previously stated that he is willing to face the International Court where he can justify his actions.