Press Release
February 4, 2017

Akbayan Sen. Risa Hontiveros on gov't's reaction to Amnesty Int'l report: Appalling, unconscionable

Any Senate or government-led inquiry that will sincerely help the people in their search for the truth and in crafting better policies to safeguard human rights is welcome.

As such, I am dismayed at how the Duterte administration has responded to the Amnesty International's report on extrajudicial killings in the country. From the House Speaker's "it's none of their business" remark to the Justice Secretary's "criminals are not humans" statement, to the President's usual profanity-laced attacks, the government's lack of commitment to address the country's human rights issues is appalling and unconscionable.

After all, what should a government be for, if not to protect the basic rights and liberties of its citizens? It is important to remember that peace and order is worth nothing and will eventually itself be destroyed without human rights, that an improvement in people's lives will only have lasting positive effects if it were founded on human rights for all.

The Amnesty International has a long track record of safeguarding human rights. It will not stake its reputation by issuing baseless reports. Its findings on the country's extrajudicial killings are a very serious matter. It deserves the government and the country's utmost serious attention.

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