The Philippines

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The Good

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The Bad


In 2016 the Philippines elected a new President, Rodrigo Duterte, who is famous for his tough stance on law and order, and low regard for Human Rights.

The Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, is famous for his “War on Drugs” and low regard for Human Rights

‘Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there is three million drug addicts.

Forget the laws on human rights; I’d be happy to slaughter them’

Since Duterte took office in June 2016:

  • Over 12000 extra-judicial killings by police and vigilante groups
  • Judicial independence is under attack
  • Human Rights Defenders themselves are targets for intimidation and arrest
  • Duterte refuses to provide access to United Nations human rights experts
  • Duterte has withdrawn The Philippines from the International Criminal Court
  • Elected officials – from City Mayors to Senators – have been arrested on trumped-up drug-dealing charges – including human-rights advocate Senator Leila de Lima, a Duterte foe since exposing his illegal Death-Squads when he was Mayor of Davao, in Mindanao. 

But…. Duterte is still generally popular.  It is true that streets are cleaner and safer, new consumer and safety laws are coming in, and there is anecdotal evidence that the endemic corruption of the country is being addressed.  However, Duterte’s opponents are frightened to speak out for fear of arrest on fake drug-dealing charges.  There is increasing talk of Dictatorship.

The UK Trade Minister has praised the “shared values and shared interests” between UK and Philippines, contradicting our Government’s objectives to promote democracy and human rights.

The Philippines is the focus country of Canterbury Amnesty Group

We are campaigning for the release of Senator de Lima

Join us!



On The President’s Orders

Please click on the link below to see the trailer for a new film :

The searing story of President Duterte’s bloody campaign against drug dealers and addicts in the Philippines, told with unprecedented and intimate access to both sides of the war – the Manila police, and an ordinary family from the slum. 

Shot in the style of a thriller, this observational film combines the look and feel of a narrative feature film with a real life revelatory journalistic investigation into a campaign of killings. 

The film uncovers a murky world where crime, drugs and politics meet in a deathly embrace – and reveal that although the police have been publicly ordered to stop extra-judicial killings, the deaths continue.

2/04/19 Amnesty International call for investigation.

Amnesty International calls for an investigation into the killing of 14 people in a police operation. Please see Amnesty International Philippines link for more information:

Withdrawal from the ICC must spur UN action

On 17 March 2019, President Duterte’s threat to withdraw from the ICC (International criminal Court) takes effect, in a cynical attempt to evade international justice and halt the ICC’s work.

In February 2018, the ICC launched a preliminary examination of the crimes allegedly committed by the Philippine government in the context of the ‘war on drugs.’ The following month Duterte announced that the Philippines would withdraw from the Court. 

However, this withdrawal has no effect on on-going proceedings.  Amnesty’s Regional Director says, “The Philippines’ withdrawal won’t change the fact that those responsible for crimes under international law committed during the Duterte administration’s bloody anti-drugs campaign will be held to account – at the ICC or through other international justice initiatives.

“Filipinos bravely challenging the ‘war on drugs’ or seeking justice for their loved ones need international support to help them end this climate of fear, violence and impunity. States at the UN Human Rights Council must launch an independent, international investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines, including the thousands of extrajudicial killings still being committed. President Duterte says the ‘war on drugs’ will last at least until his term ends in 2022, if not beyond. It must stop immediately and the government must adopt an approach to drugs based on a policy of health and human rights.”