2020 Karapatan Year-end Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Philippines

Epidemic of State terror and people's resistance

2020 seemed to go on and on without any end in sight as one crisis after another pummelled deadly blows upon a nation already free-falling towards social degradation. For the past four years, the administration of Rodrigo Duterte had proven to be a deadly crisis of its own, and his sycophants and spin doctors had desperately attempted to conceal the foul stench of decay through a convoluted gyration of lies and hollow illusions of progress, order, and change. The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic shattered these illusions as the virus brought the world into a standstill and forced it to confront a crisis that had long been in the offing.

Yet even a public health emergency did not halt despots like Duterte along with his cabal of rabid red-taggers, seasoned war criminals, and notorious human rights violators from unleashing the rotten contagion of fascism and open rule of State terror upon the people.

Stripped of all but the hollowest pretenses of democratic and popular rule, Duterte entered his last two years in power with his anti-democratic agenda in full throttle, all under the deceptive garb of a “new normal.” What had been exposed for everyone to see were not really new, but there were now the widening cracks just beneath the ice-thin surface of Duterte’s illusion of popular support and a strong State: worsening socio-economic inequality and joblessness, blatant neglect of basic social services and people’s welfare, massive corruption scandals, a ballooning national debt, mass deception and organized disinformation, and a brutal toll of human rights violations growing bloodier by the day.

You can also read and download the full report through this link.