Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

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UUSC condemns brutal violence and human rights abuses in the Philippines

September 10, 2016

Following the election of Rodrigo Duterte as president of the Philippines on May 9, 2016, his vigilante-style “war on drugs” has led to the deaths of more than 2,400 suspected drug dealers and users (almost 40 people per day) in extrajudicial killings. An additional 4,400 people have been arrested, and nearly 600,000 have “surrendered” to avoid being killed as a result of Duterte’s widely popular crackdown.

Amidst the escalating street violence encouraged by Duterte’s policies, on September 2, a bomb exploded in a Davao market, killing at least 14 people and wounding many more. In response, President Duterte declared a “state of lawlessness” – one step below martial law – allowing the military to assume greater control of the country.

UUSC stands with our partners and supporters in condemning the brutal violence and abuse of human rights.

Many of UUSC’s partners in the Philippines are responding to these crises by incorporating human rights education and documentation of extrajudicial killings. In addition, these partner organizations plan to adapt “community resiliency model” (CRM) techniques in their efforts. CRM techniques were central to UUSC-supported post-Typhoon Haiyan efforts to help survivors on the margins of society heal with their communities. In the coming weeks, UUSC partners in the Philippines will:

  • Facilitate multiple CRM trauma resiliency sessions for people who turned themselves over to the government (so-called “surrenderees”) and members of their families.
  • Host a three-day CRM training for 911 emergency response personnel and social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to enable them to effectively respond to people affected by the recent bombing in Davao.

UUSC’s on-the-ground consultant in the Philippines will join and provide support at these events.

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