Philippines

Regional News • Asia
Zara Alvarez, human rights leader, killed in Philippine
Zara Alvarez, human rights leader, killed in Philippine
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

The human rights leader Zara Alvarez was killed Monday evening after being shot six times as she was heading home after buying food for dinner. Alvarez is the 13th member of the Karapatan organisation to be killed since President Rodrigo Duterte election in 2016.

Zara Alvarez, former education director of the human rights alliance Karapatan, was a well-known human rights defender who received repeated threats and was subjected to harassment as a result of her human rights work.

In a statement, the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), strongly condemned the killing of Alvarez. “The death of even one human rights defender is way too many...We demand justice for Zara along with other human rights defenders who have been victims of extrajudicial killings,” APWLD stated.

Regional News • Asia
President of the Philippines signs anti-terrorism bill
President Rodrigo Duterte addressing Filipino community in Brunei
President Rodrigo Duterte addressing Filipino community in Brunei Credit: KING RODRIGUEZ/Presidential Photo (Public Domain)

The president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has signed a new anti-terrorism law. The new law the Republic Act No. 11479 provides the government with more rights for surveillance and repeals the Human Security Act of 2007. Suspected terrorists can be detained and arrested without a warrant and without charges for up to 24 days.

Regional News • Asia
Philippines' ABS-CBN ordered to cease operations
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Centre
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Centre Credit: wikimedia/PinoyExplorer/CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced by order from the National Telecommunications Commission to cease operations on Tuesday. ABS-CBN's broadcasting license expired on Monday and the parliament dominated by President Rodrigo Duterte loyalists wouldn't renew their license. Duterte has been threatening to block ABS-CBN's renewal after the channel has angered him in the past. NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said that the network could appeal through court.

Regional News • Asia
President of the Philippines orders people to be shot if protests continue

In a televised address the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has announced that he ordered the police, military and officials of villages to shoot citizens dead if "there's violence and your lives are in danger". This order follows the protests against the lack of supplies since the lockdown started two weeks ago. Protestors argue that they haven't received any food packages, while the government refutes these claims.