Human rights abuses of state and paramilitary forces and police impunity continue to hound the Philippines, the US State Department said in its 2022 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.
The report noted that the country’s biggest issue when it comes to human rights abuses were extrajudicial killings, forced disappearance, and tortures disguised as part of the government’s anti-drug war operations.
“The government investigated some reported human rights abuses, including abuses by its forces and paramilitary forces. Concerns about police impunity remained given reports of continued extrajudicial killings by police,” the report said.
“Significant concerns also persisted about impunity for other security forces, civilian national and local government officials, and powerful business and commercial figures. Officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.”
Citing government data, the report noted that approximately 15,000 drug war operations were conducted by law enforcement authorities from January to May 2022.
It said “arbitrary or unlawful killings by police” happened during some of the operations.
“Human rights groups continued to express concern about the contribution of corruption to abuses committed by the PNP and other security forces and noted little progress in implementing and enforcing reforms aimed at improving investigations and prosecutions of suspected human rights violations. The national police’s institutional deficiencies and the public perception that police corruption was endemic continued,” the report said.
The report likewise said the “practice of red-tagging continued under the new administration.”
“Government officials or their allies often used red-tagging to label human rights advocates, unions, religious groups, academics, and media organizations as fronts for or clandestine members of insurgent and other opposition groups.”
The Country Reports yearly cover 198 countries and territories giving factual reports on the real happenings and events in each country.
The report is meticulously built with the help of different groups such as embassies, NGOs, academics, activists, and journalists, among others.