PHILIPPINES. Manila City: A protest welcomed International Human Rights Day at Mendiola Peace Arch in Manila on December 10. Several activists and Filipinos gathered at Mendiola Peace Arch a few meters away from Malacañang Palace, the residence of the Philippine President. According to the reports, only a few police officers had blocked the entrance of the arch as people gathered in front of it.
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President Rodrigo Duterte urged the police to shoot the criminals without worrying about the “human rights”. A news report quoted his statement on December 3. According to the statement, Duterte said, “I don’t care about human rights. I will assume full legal responsibility, not you (police officers).”
Protesters point out issues
President Duterte took an oath to abide by the 1987 Philippine Constitution. It caters to 22 sections under Article III entitled the Bill of Rights, which is the human rights of the Filipino citizen. Yet, the president set everything aside that went with the constitution.
The protesters marched on International Human Rights Day to remind President Duterte of his violation of Filipino rights. These included the red-tagging of citizens under the anti-terror law along with the extrajudicial killings (EJK) which has increased by over 30,000 deaths since 2016.
President Duterte also violated the human rights of women with his “sex jokes and vulgar language”. His statements encouraged attacks on women and aims on displacing children without a mother. Unfortunately, women who criticize or stand against the president are either detained or killed.
The Philippines’ constitution also believes in protecting the indigenous people and their rights. However, the military attacks have made every possible effort to displace these people from their homelands. However, President Duterte said that the military had no hands in this and blamed it on the rebels. He said, “You Lumads go home. Tell your people they are being deceived by the NPA (New People’s Army).”
The current government has also been accused of killing farmers. The protesters have now demanded for the removal of President Duterte from the office. Filipino people are now standing together to eradicate the existing corruption in the government.