Updated 19:46 PM PHT Wed, February 22, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — For over six thousand killings in just over six months, Amnesty International (AI) is calling out President Rodrigo Duterte for the mass killings.
A slaughtering of drug users that the group says is state-sanctioned.
In its report on The State of Human Rights Worldwide for 2016-2017, AI says excessive use of police force continues in the drug war, in the violent dispersal of over 5,000 farmers in Kidapawan City April last year, and other human rights violations under the Aquino and Duterte administrations.
AI Philippines Head of Office Jose Noel Olano says Duterte - like other world leaders - uses hateful rhetoric to justify his actions.
"Whether it is President Trump, Prime Minister Orban of Hungary, Prime Minister Modi of India, President Erdogan of Turkey, or President Duterte, more and more and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda," he said.
"Naisama si President Duterte sa grupo ng mga heads of state na ito na pinupuna ng Amnesty International dahil sa kanilang rhetoric, sa kanilang toxic agenda na nagde-dehumanize at nagiging scapegoat ang isang grupo ng mga tao," he added.
[Translation: President Duterte was included in the group of heads of state which Amnesty International is calling out because of their rhetoric, their toxic agenda that dehumanizes and turns a group of people into scapegoats.]
What about the surveys?
Responding to AI's report, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said recent surveys show more than eight out of 10 Filipinos are satisfied with the administration's campaign against crime and drugs.
Abella says it's regrettable that AI ignored the surrender of over one million drug pushers and dealers.
Gascon gives warning
Speaking at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy on Tuesday, Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Chito Gascon warned President Duterte's critics may also fall victim to his violent campaign against drugs and crime.
"If this program continues, we are greatly afraid that the violence will spread. Not only criminals will be subject to attack but also members of the opposition," he said.
He cited Senator Leila de Lima as an example of a critic who is now facing drug charges for speaking out against President Duterte and his drug war.