Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in 2016, his “war on drugs” has killed thousands of mostly urban, poor people with impunity. The security forces have killed hundreds of activists, rights defenders, Indigenous leaders, lawyers, journalists, trade unionists, and environmentalists in a counter-insurgency campaign that involves the vilification, called “red-tagging,” of people deemed to support communist insurgents. Duterte also sought to silence critics, notably opposition Senator Leila de Lima, and news organizations Rappler and ABS-CBN. The government’s response to Covid-19 has caused serious rights violations, including the deaths of quarantine violators.

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