Philippines rights situation in foreword of 2016 AI report, first since martial law years
Amnesty International (AI) included the country on the foreword of its global report for the first time since the martial law years.
“In this year’s report, for the first time since Martial Law years, the Philippines is a special mention in the foreword section of the report,” Jose Noel Olano, Amnesty International Philippines, head officer told reporters during the launching of the global report in Quezon City on Wednesday.
Citing the foreword, Olano said 2016 was an awful year for human rights.
“Long-standing economic inequalities and uncertainties, seismic political changes and poisonous us versus them rhetoric are making the world more divided, the Philippines included. With politicians and elected officials increasingly willing to discard and attack human rights, the need to stand up for human rights everywhere has never been clearer,” he said.
“Whether it is President (Donald) Trump (US), Prime Minister Orban (Hungary), Prime Minister Modi (India), President Erdogan (Turkey), or President (Rodrigo) Duterte, more and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats, and dehumanizes entire group of people to win the support of voters who feel disenfranchised,” he said.
“The erosion of human rights values was most destructive when officials blamed a specific other for real or perceived social problems in order to justify their repressive actions. Hateful divisive and dehumanizing rhetoric unleashed the darkest instincts of human nature,” he added.
Olano said the global report of the AI covers the state of the world’s human rights reports from the total of 159 countries.
He said the Philippines report covers human rights situation under the two administrations for the year of 2016, that of former President Benigno Aquino III and of Rodrigo Duterte.
Olano said countries also mentioned on the foreword include the United States, Hungary, India and Turkey.
Olano said the inclusion of the country in the foreword of AI report was based on the gravity of human rights situation.
“What is being looked at is the gravity of the situation, if the situation got worst and in fact reached to the point that the amnesty were saying that it can be a case or crime against humanity,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS