The Communist Party of the Philippines characterized the last six months of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term as “drenched in the blood of the victims of his failed all-out war.” In a report published on 16 July, the CPP cited 137 cases involving 5,843 victims of human rights violations perpetrated by Duterte’s security forces in the period of January to June 2022.
Of these, 40 were victims of extrajudicial killings and seven others survived murder attempts. 166 are victims of arbitrary arrests and detention. More than 91% of the victims, 5,342 persons, suffered forcible evacuation and displacement from their communities, as well as food and economic blockades.
“The multitude of victims,” the CPP asserted, “are not mere numbers. Each mark on the tally of the regime’s butchers belong to a name of a farmer, indigenous, worker and other oppressed classes.”
The report also cited the “savagery” of the Duterte regime’s security forces who do not abide by International Humanitarian Law. From January to June 2022, personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police killed at least 15 NPA Red fighters and CPP leaders who were hors de combat.
The CPP cited the abduction of NDFP Consultant Pedro Codaste and an NPA Red fighter in Cagayan de Oro in January. The two were convalescing from various ailments when abducted. The AFP 4th Infantry Division released their visibly tortured bodies in the neighboring province of Bukidnon a couple of days later, claiming the two were killed in an armed encounter.
The CPP report also cited at least 44 cases of human rights violations directly related to the Presidential elections of May 2022. These include seven victims of extrajudicial killings and six forcible abductions. The report also cited 24 cases of threats, harassment and intimidation against organizers and supporters of opposition party alliance Makabayan.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Supreme Court granted a writ of amparo on 23 August for labor union organizers, Elizabeth Magbanua and Alipio Juat, who were reportedly abducted by state security forces on 3 May and have since been missing. The High Court sided with the families and colleagues of the victims that “their rights to life, liberty and security have been violated on account of their disappearance” and ordered AFP officials to reply to the writ within 72 hours.
The SC explained that the writ of amparo “is intended to address the pernicious problems of ‘extralegal killings’ and ‘enforced disappearances’ and serves both preventive and curative roles in addressing these issues.”