Critics of a new anti-terrorism law in the Philippines called on the country's highest court Monday to suspend the legislation, arguing it threatens human rights and freedom of speech. The law approved by President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday gives the security forces sweeping powers to go after terrorists, but critics fear it could be used to stifle dissent and target government opponents.Rights groups had called on Duterte to veto the law, which allows for a special council comp
At least 122 children have been killed in the Philippines' war on drugs - often deliberately, two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) said Monday, urging the United Nations (UN) to take action.The NGOs fear that the true figure is way higher, they said in a report, as the United Nations Human Rights Council prepares to assess the situation in the Philippines.President Rodrigo Duterte's hardline anti-drugs campaign has come under fire from rights activists who say police are encour
Journalist Maria Ressa's libel conviction on Monday has raised fresh concerns about press freedom under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has a history of clashing with the media.Here are some notable confrontations:'Shameless' InquirerThe Philippine Daily Inquirer is one of the nation's top publications and brands itself as delivering "balanced news, fearless views".When Duterte launched his deadly crackdown on narcotics in 2016, the paper covered it ext
Tens of millions of children in the Philippines will not be allowed back to school until a coronavirus vaccine is available, officials announced Monday, saying they may have to broadcast lessons on TV.Nations like France and South Korea began resuming face-to-face classes as they got their outbreaks under control, but Philippine authorities see the risk as too great.President Rodrigo Duterte said last month that even if students could not graduate, they needed to stay out of school to fight t
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war has unleashed widespread and systematic killing with "near impunity" for offenders, a United Nations (UN) report said Thursday, calling for an independent probe into human rights abuses.Police have been encouraged by the highest levels of government to use lethal force on drug suspects and thousands have been killed by officers and unknown gunmen since 2016, the UN human rights office said. Many suspects had been put on &
The Philippines has told the United States (US) it is suspending its bid to break off a key military pact, the two allies said Tuesday in a sharp turnaround of President Rodrigo Duterte's foreign policy.Duterte in February gave notice to Washington he was axing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after accusing the US of interference in his internationally condemned narcotics crackdown.That began a 180-day countdown to ending the deal central to hundreds of joint military exercises with
The Philippines will lift key coronavirus lockdown measures in the nation's capital, President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday, aiming to resuscitate a faltering economy after nearly three months of strict home quarantine.Manila has endured one of the world's longest lockdowns, which has hit the livelihoods of millions of workers but not halted a steady stream of new infections.
In its fight to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine government’s move to decongest the National Capital Region (NCR) through its Back to the Province (Balik Probinsya) Program has become a key strategy. The NCR or Metro Manila, with a limited land area of around 636 square kilometres, is home to around 11 million dwellers. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Executive Order (EO) No.
The shutting down of the Philippines' top broadcaster crosses a dangerous line in eroding the nation's democracy and sends a warning to those who risk angering President Rodrigo Duterte, watchdogs said.Since rising to power in 2016, Duterte has steadily tightened his grip on the nation's key institutions and jailed or side-lined his loudest detractors, but until now his worst threats against critical media had not been fully realised.Tuesday's halting of broadcasting giant
The Philippines' top broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced off air Tuesday over a stalled operating licence renewal, drawing fresh charges that authorities were cracking down on press freedom.Since running afoul of President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, ABS-CBN has seen bills to extend its franchise languish in Congress as the leader repeatedly attacked the conglomerate in speeches.Duterte is notorious for tangling with media outlets critical of his policies, sparking concern that press freedoms ha
2019 is slated to be a year of elections for the Southeast Asian region. Not only will Indonesia see its first presidential election since 2014, Thailand too has promised to hold an election this year since the military coup of 2014. While Thailand is currently struggling with the prospect of a delayed election, the Philippines is another country facing elections soon.Set for 13 May, the last presidential election the Philippines had was in 2016.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought chaos to the world. The virus has negatively affected livelihoods and the global economy since it first emerged in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province. To date, more than 2.5 million people have been infected with the virus and over 180,000 have succumbed to the deadly outbreak. Governments across the world are scrambling to contain the new coronavirus.