Press Statement | March 27, 2018

On Malacanang’s allegations that human rights groups are in cahoots with drug lords

We’d never know what they’re having in Malacanang, that they never seem to run out of fantastic tales and labels.

They call human rights activists with so many names – NPA rebels, rowdy anti-development strikers, terrorists, destabilizers and now minions of drug lords – all meant to justify the extrajudicial killings, torture and illegal arrest of human rights activists and political dissenters.

They make the wildest accusations – human rights organizations are fronts of either the communist movements, the Liberal Party and drug cartels – without an ounce of fact.

They invent the most ludicrous of stories. You’re a suspected drug addict or pusher, then shooting you, even if you plead innocence, is an act of self-defense by the police. Guns and bombs suddenly appear in activists’ handbags or pile of rice and then boom! You’re charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives. Your name appears in a military intelligence report, then voila! You are named as a terrorist. You speak at a forum outside the country, then presto! You’re suddenly a drug trafficker.

Malacanang places the blame on human rights organizations for the Duterte administration’s failure to curb the illegal drug problem and accuses them of smearing the country’s reputation. In case Harry Roque and Alan Cayetano haven’t noticed, Duterte did that all by himself, in a path of tyrannical megalomania and unparalleled self-destruction.

With these recent accusations, Malacanang is either cooking up a scenario that will justify a massive tokhang-style killing of activists or it is one of those attempts to evade accountability from domestic and international human rights instruments. Either way, whatever they’re having in Malacanang will not be enough to numb them and enable their hallucinations in covering up the Duterte regime’s crimes against the people.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +63918-9790580


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.