DOJ’s Human Rights summit a farce, cover-up to Duterte’s gross record of violations – PAMALAKAYA

DOJ’s Human Rights summit a farce, cover-up to Duterte’s gross record of violations – PAMALAKAYA

Manila, Philippines – “Duterte has no ethos to speak for human rights because he is a human rights abuser-in-chief who continues to persecute political dissenters,” According to the militant fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte his statement during the 3-day Department of Justice (DOJ) Human Rights summit, claiming that the “Philippine government is seriously committed to prioritizing human rights.”

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA belied the statement of President Duterte as empty rhetoric and a cover-up to the Duterte regime’s record of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses in the country.

Citing the data of the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), PAMALAKAYA said that at least 290 peasants were killed extrajudicially, including 7 fisherfolk, under the Duterte regime. In total, rights group KARAPATAN has documented 488 more frustrated EJKs; 18 victims of enforced disappearances; 1, 001 illegal arrest and detention, including the recent arrest of Amanda Echanis, organizer under the peasant women’s group AMIHAN and daughter of slain peace advocate Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis. Echanis has been red-tagged by the government’s anti-communist task force prior to her illegal arrest.

“Duterte has no moral ascendancy to talk about the human rights, more so to claim that his government is fully committed to its protection. He has even become an international pariah because of the serious human rights situation in the country. How could he say that his government prioritizes human rights when democratic activists are being red-tagged, vilified, and most of all, attacked,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

Hicap, also former Anakpawis Party-list solon, also scored the Department of Justice (DOJ) for leading the summit when it serves as the “Duterte government’s apparatus in political persecution and attack of democratic rights”.

“There is an urgent need to address the human rights situation in the country, don’t get us wrong. But the DOJ doesn’t have any moral grounds to lead such summit because it is the one proscribing progressive organizations and individuals as terrorists, making them legitimate targets of state forces,” ended Hicap. ###

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