MANILA — Human rights advocates on Monday gave President Rodrigo Duterte a failing mark on his almost 6-year leadership as they urged the public to make him "accountable" over the alleged human rights violations during his term of office.
In a virtual press conference, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend) and Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) accused Duterte of committing human rights violations on workers, children, women.
iDefend member and Partido Manggagawa secretary general Judy Miranda claimed that Duterte did not only fail to fulfill his promise to end contractualization and improve workers’ wages, but also snuffed out people’s right to form unions and freely express themselves.
"Naglaho ang pangakong wakasan ang endo, na-veto ang Senate Bill na siya mismo ang nag-certify. Sa huling taon ng kanyang panunungkulan, hindi na prayoridad ang endo bill," Miranda said.
Instead of protecting workers, she said the President used his powers to support his own interests.
"Ang isang pinakamalaking ehemplo na walang malasakit sa manggagawa ay ang pagsasara ng ABS-CBN na itinuring niyang kaaway," Miranda said.
It was also in the Duterte administration that the government tallied the "highest number of violations against poor children," according to the group.
"Simula Hulyo 2016 hanggang Disyembre 2019 ay nakapagtala ang Children’s Human Rights and Development Center ng hindi bababa sa 122 na batang napaslang sa ilalim ng madugong programa kontra droga," said iDefend member Rowena Legaspi.
"Sa dinami-dami ng napaslang sa war on drugs mula 2016, ang kaso lang ni Kian De los Santos ang na-prosecute," she lamented.
Activists said Duterte’s legacy will also be marked by "numerous misogynist and sexist incidents."
"Nung kanyang birthday naalala ninyo ay parang gusto niyang hipuan ang nagdala ng cake. Yung #DuterteManiac ay nagkaroon ng 2,300 hits," said Women’s Legal Bureau executive director Jelen Paclarin.
"Leni Robredo, Maria Lourdes Sereno... at siyempre Leila de Lima, lahat po na ito ay ebidensya na sa simula pa lang po, ang Duterte administration ay hindi po pro-women," Paclarin added.
Human rights advocates also pointed out the irony in the President’s claim of "ending oligarchy."
"Pinabagsak niya ang ilan sa mga oligarkiya pero nagtatayo rin siya ng mga bago," said iDefend spokesperson Judy Pasimio.
The groups rated Duterte’s 5-year presidency a "failure," calling him "guilty" on violating human rights.
They are planning to stage a protest on Duterte's last State of the Nation Address on July 26.
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