Human rights protection in the Philippines is on the verge of extinction after the country’s House of Representatives voted to practically defund the government agency tasked to protect the Filipino against abuses by those in power.
The lower house has passed funding legislation that appropriates nothing but 1,000 pesos (US$19.62) each to the Commission on Human Rights and the National Commission for Indigenous People for fiscal year 2018.
The move came in the midst of allegations that the Philippine National Police is behind a string of extrajudicial killings borne out of Duterte’s war on drugs.
Many believe the House’s move was to retaliate against the human rights commission’s public rebuke of Duterte’s war on drugs, which has reportedly claimed the lives of over 13,000 suspected drug dealers and users across the Philippines – mostly in poverty-stricken areas.
Of the 13,000 drug war-related killings, however, the National Police owns up to only 3,811 deaths. The rest of the victims were gunned down by civilian vigilantes who apparently felt empowered by Duterte’s previous statements encouraging police and civilians to “kill criminals.”