INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
2009 - PHILIPPINES
asian human rights commission
The State of Human Rights in the
Philippines in 2009
Another year of violations, impunity and a lack of effective remedies
The following report on the state of human rights in the Philippines in 2009 will focus
on the cases and situations that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
encountered during the year. This overview does not claim to be an exhaustive report
on all human rights violations and developments, but focuses on core issues and
events that have been documented by the AHRC throughout its work.
The AHRC monitors the conduct of the government of the Philippines to verify the
extent to which it is fulfilling its domestic and international obligations concerning
human rights laws and standards, as well as living up to its pledges and commitments.
The AHRC is not alone in this. During 2009, the United Nations’ (UN) relevant Treaty
Bodies, conducted reviews of the country’s record in implementing the provisions of
the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child
(CRC). These reviews were conducted by the Committee Against Torture and the
Committee on the Rights of the Child respectively, and produced Concluding
Observations and recommendations concerning the steps that the government needs
to take to improve its record. These add to the many recommendations produced by
various UN mechanisms concerning a range of human rights issues, notably extra-
judicial killings, abductions and enforced disappearances and threats against activists
and human rights defenders in the country.
In this introduction, the various aspects that will be developed in the report below are
summarised in order to present an overview of the pertinent issues that the AHRC
views as being significant in 2009.
The first noteworthy point concerns the well-publicised massacre that occurred in the
province of Magui