HR group hits Palace rating despite abysmal rights record

Sep. 01, 2017

Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay (Photo by Pinoy Weekly)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—A human rights group questioned the “very good” rating received by the Duterte administration on human rights protection in the recent Social Weather Station survey despite the President’s abysmal human rights records.

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said the SWS survey is not an indicator of the Duterte’s performance.

“It is the improvement of the majority’s quality of life that remains as the real indicator of any administration’s performance,” she said.

She said “the culture of impunity continues as people’s civil and political, and social and cultural rights are brazenly violated while perpetrators remain scot-free.”

The SWS second quarter survey published on Tuesday showed that the Duterte administration received a +55 net rating for protecting human rights.

The Duterte administration also maintained an “very good” net public satisfaction rating within four consecutive quarters.

Palabay pointed out that the SWS survey is not reflective of the real situation that is happening on the ground, especially in the country’s far-flung communities where human rights violations continue to escalate at alarming rate.

“Surveys are surveys, but the reality on the ground cannot be simply erased by satisfaction ratings. Urban poor communities are being subjected to killings without any significant employment opportunities, demolitions continue to abound in favor of private firms, our farmers still do not own the land they till,” she said.

She said that job contractualization of workers, the militarization of Lumad and Moro communities, are among pressing issues that the government must address as all these could be viewed as indicators of governance.

“Change may have been real for the rich but the same injustice is meted out to the rest of us,” said Palabay.

“Paramilitaries, protected by soldiers and Duterte, still roam around communities, killing and harassing indigenous peoples and peasants. This tells us that from Aquino to Duterte, change has not arrived for the poor and the oppressed,” she added. (

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