PHL human rights unchanged — US

THE UNITED STATES’ latest Department of State report on human rights concluded that “there were no significant changes in the human rights situation in the Philippines” despite noting that extrajudicial killings by police agents have already decreased in the past year.

In a its 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the US found that the Philippines’ human rights condition has not changed as the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. continued his predecessor’s anti-drug policies.

“Extrajudicial killings, largely by police but also by other security forces, remained a serious problem. In addition, politically motivated killings, including of journalists, were reported during the year,” the report stated, noting 209 killings related to anti-drugs operations between January and August 2023.

The Commission on Human Rights reported to have investigated 51 new complaints last year, including 82 reports allegedly perpetrated by the Philippine National Police.

“Impunity was a significant problem in the security forces, particularly in the PNP, as reported by local and international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch,” it added.

Mr. Marcos’ predecessor, Rodrigo R. Duterte, was known for his hard stance against illegal drugs, drawing scrutiny from the international community and the International Criminal Court. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana