PNP appThe Philippine National Police’s (PNP) newly-launched human rights mobile app is a laughable solution to protect the public from police abuses. In deadly police operations, no one expects the victims to whip out their phones and orient the police about their rights. The poor, who are usual targets of Duterte’s killings, cannot even afford a smartphone for them to access PNP’s cruel and stupid solution. 

The PNP human rights app is a worthless effort as long as President Duterte and Chief PNP Bato Dela Rosa ridicule human rights for Filipinos. The app is a cruel and stupid excuse for the police to evade accountability from the extrajudicial killings and harassment of civilians, especially those in poor neighborhoods. To solve the human rights crisis, the PNP must install reforms in its system to stop its active role as human rights violators in War on Drugs operations:  

    1. Strengthen human rights training for PNP

    2. Strengthen mechanisms to respond to human rights complaints in operations

    3. Probe cops in War on Drugs operations

    4. Prosecute killer cops

    5. Protection for women and children in operations

    6. Limit use of force

    7. Transparency in police data

Around 3,900 people have been killed in police operations but human rights groups have recorded already 14,000 killed in the course of Duterte’s murderous drug war. PNP’s app can only do little. If they are serious about solving the human rights crisis, the PNP should download some sense, stop the killings and install reforms in its institutions. ###

RevGovPresident Duterte’s threat to declare a revolutionary government reveals the one thing he fears the most: a working democracy.

Duterte’s efforts to wrest control of all branches of government shows his traitorous plan to destroy the democracy the people fought for 30 years ago. He has attempted to condition the public’s minds since his ratings start to decline that groups will be out to overthrow him but it’s clear now that the country’s number one destabilizer is President Duterte himself.   

The government has destabilized the country by killing thousands of its people, persecuting those who speak the truth about his policies and crushing all institutions that are supposed to keep him in check. Duterte has done nothing to probe the PhP 6.4 billion shabu shipment in which his son might be involved in. He has also failed accountability in his office by refusing to answer for the allegations of his family’s hidden wealth and allowing his men in the Cabinet to keep away some records of their wealth from the public.

Duterte’s first year in office is a disaster but Duterte’s revolutionary government will be hell. His plan to totalize power under him has already started by deploying his allies to impeach Chief Justice Sereno and harass Ombudsman Carpio. Last week he again spoke of returning power to the PNP to execute his war on drugs which under the PNP proved to be ruthless only to the poor and the powerless.

When President Duterte has finally removed all protections against his dictatorship, expect more killings, corruption and injustice to ensue.

This is the time to be courageous. We call on all people from all sectors to stand up against Duterte’s authoritarian revolutionary government and continue to shape and defend our democracy.  Let us continue to put people and institutions of power in check that we make democracy work for all especially the poor and marginalized. Let us unite behind a democracy that works to uphold human rights, truth and justice which an authoritarian revolutionary government will certainly not stand for. 

democracy

For Akbayan Party, the impeachment proceedings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno are not signs of a democracy in action but symptoms of a democracy malfunction.

“The malicious intent behind the proceedings puts the ‘mal’ in ‘malfunction’ as the House Committee on Justice makes a mockery of our democracy,” said Machris Cabreros, Akbayan President.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has previously stated that the Chief Justice’s lawyers will not be allowed entry to the committee room, and insisted that the Chief Justice herself shows up for the hearing, depriving her of her right to counsel, and subsequently, her right to cross-examine the complainant’s witnesses.

In the previous hearing, the House Committee on Justice has also been stingy in giving Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman the chance to voice out their concerns in the proceedings, despite being duly elected representatives of the Filipino people.

“How can it be democracy in action when rights are being disregarded and disrespected? No lawyers to defend the Chief Justice, no fair share of the opposing side, no real democracy,” Cabreros stressed.

“The independence and integrity of our democratic institutions are at stake. If the House leadership have forgotten about that, the people will surely remember,” she added. ###

 

DuterteReference: Justine Balane, Spokesperson

President Duterte once again made the United Nations a punchline to his jokes. In a speech in Camarines Sur, he declared he will have the UN solve the drug problem if the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) fails as the new head of his murderous campaign against illegal drugs. 

This comes at the heels of his recent admission of failure of his War on Drugs by ‘removing’ himself and the Philippine National Police (PNP) from his anti-drugs campaign after seeing his trust rating slump on the latest survey.

When it comes to the UN, Duterte is all bark but no bite. He previously declared to set up local offices for the UN in every police station and in the same breath, accused the UN of meddling into the country’s affairs.

pdeaQuote: Akbayan Sec Gen Kit Melgar

There is no greater admission of failure than President Duterte’s decision to let the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) head his campaign against drugs, forcing the Philippine National Police (PNP) to bow down after 15 months of non-stop killings.

The decision is not borne from Duterte's goodwill. It was a result of Duterte panicking at the sight of his eroding trust ratings and the growing opposition to the killings. 

But even if PDEA takes the lead in the murderous campaign against drugs, the change of head agency does not absolve President Duterte and the PNP from the killings of 13,000. The Duterte government, until now, shows no remorse at the death of thousands of people, including the poor and young, under his brutal campaign against drugs. The PNP, in their recent statements, is lurking to sink its teeth back into the war and continue the bloodbath.

Justice for the victims won’t be served by just a mere change of guards. Akbayan calls on the Duterte government to stop the killings and take responsibility for the 13,000 dead under his war on drugs. The solution to the drug problem is not in the pile of thousands of Filipinos dead but a recognition of justice to the victims and a health and rights-based approach to get rid off the drug menace. ###