“The attack on civilians in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown of Davao is a brutal and horrific act that has led to a tragic loss of civilian lives. Victims and survivors, including the families of those who have lost their lives and those who have been injured, have a right to seek and obtain justice. The government should respect this right by ordering an independent, impartial, transparent and effective investigation, leading to fair trials of suspected perpetrators. It is the Philippines government’s right and duty to protect its population.
“However, the callous disregard shown by the attackers for people’s right to life must not be met by government action that itself disregards human rights. Resort to unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests or other human rights violations will only play into the hands of those who seek an ever-widening cycle of violence and abuse,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s Senior Research Adviser for South East Asia and the Pacific.