Presidential bets asked about position on human rights


MANILA - International human rights organization Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that it sent a 10-question human rights survey to the five presidential candidates.

The survey asked the presidential candidates about their positions on major human rights issues. Responses will be posted on the Human Rights Watch website in late April.

“The Philippines’ next president will inherit immense human rights problems requiring leadership and commitment,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

“Filipino voters should demand to hear from their presidential candidates exactly what they would do to protect and strengthen human rights,” he added.

Among the subjects included in the questionnaire relate to “death squad” killings; torture; attacks against journalists; accountability of state security forces; rights of indigenous peoples; reproductive health rights; displacement caused by conflict; and the country’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, among others.

“The upcoming presidential election is crucial if the Philippines is to end pervasive abuses and impunity and become a genuinely rights-respecting country,” Adams said.

“When Filipinos go to the polls on May 9, they will want to know where the candidates stand on these critical concerns,” he added.