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On Duterte’s statement that human rights groups are enemies of the state

A press statement by KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
January 10, 2019

Only tyrants and human rights violators consider human rights defenders as enemies, to justify their killing and other worse violations against them. It is actually those in government who order, encourage and perpetuate extrajudicial killings, illegal or arbitrary arrests, rape, torture, and other grave violations, as well as those who engender impunity and poverty and promote the sell-out of our country’s patrimony, who are considered by the people as their enemies.

We reiterate - Duterte’s sham drug war and its consequences cannot be justified by the government’s inability to resolve criminality and its distorted and unscientific analysis on the roots of the problem of the illegal drug trade. As long as the government sees that the solution to social woes is through its kill, kill, kill approach, as long it does not nip corruption in government in the bud by being complicit in the entry and proliferation of illegal drugs in the streets, as long as it doesn’t solve the root causes of poverty, it will always face criticism and opposition from the people.

Human rights defense is not the sole purview of human rights groups. Every day, every hour, several communities and individuals uphold and defend their individual and collective rights. The people are defending our rights. As long as Duterte continues to disregard these rights, he will be made accountable by the people.

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