Acting on increasing concerns of Canadians and the international community on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines, the International Human Rights Subcommittee of the House of Commons of Canada conducted a briefing on 4 May 2021 with experts and human rights advocates from the Philippines and Canada.
John Heredia, Municipal administrator of Pilar town in Capiz province and former broadcast journalist, was gunned down in broad daylight and in front of several eyewitnesses on 2 May 2021 in the provincial capital Roxas City. He was pronounced dead on arrival in a nearby hospital.
The 12 May publication by the Duterte government’s Anti-Terrorism Council of a resolution designating 19 alleged Central Committee members of the Communist Party of the Philippines as terrorists was met by fierce condemnation. CPP Founding Chairman Prof. Jose Maria Sison described it as “a violation of international legal standards and the Manila government’s own Hernandez political offense doctrine.”
The number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the Philippines continue to rise, the World Health Organization describing “large scale community transmission” in Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon regions and “localized community transmission” at the national level. The number of cases in the country continues to be the biggest in Southeast Asia and one of the biggest in the world.