Philippine govt. denies withholding information on activist attacks


The Philippine government on Saturday denied claims that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) not to cooperate with the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) regarding the killings of human rights defenders and activists.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement: “There is no truth to the alleged report that President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the PNP not to release or share their information to the CHR regarding the recent attacks against right defenders and activists”.

“As an officer of the court, being a lawyer, the President adheres to the rule of law and he wants the wheels of justice to grind, for the sake of the victims of abuse and violence and their families,” Roque added.

Roque added that the Duterte administration is “equally interested to unmask those behind these brazen killings, which are being blamed to state agents.”

“And we will leave no stone unturned to put these people behind bars,” the president’s spokesman added.

Meanwhile, CHR Commissioner Leah Tanodra-Armamento said in an interview on ANC’s “Early Edition”that aside from the pandemic and the alleged unwillingness of the police to cooperate, there was “an order from the President not to give the Commission on Human Rights the data” it needs.

“Unfortunately, there is an order from the President himself not to give the Commission on Human Rights the data,” Armamento said.

CHR has been probing the 89 killings of human rights activists and defenders from 2017 to 2019. (Source: