Joseph Sandinao Defender from Philippines
Joseph Sandinao, an indigenous leader from Mindanao in the Philippines, whose case featured in our 2019 report Defending the Philippines. Copyright: Global Witness / Jeoffrey Maitem

Duterte’s broken promises are leaving activists at the mercy of business at all costs in the Philippines, the country with the most killings of land and environmental defenders in 2018.

The Philippines has been consistently named as one of the worst places in Asia for attacks against defenders. Under President Duterte it has become even deadlier, with the numbers murdered rising dramatically since he took office - almost double the figure for the three years prior to his election. High impunity rates and the relentless vilification of human rights advocates by the government are some of the reasons for the increase.

In our 2019 report, Defending the Philippines, we documented how land and environmental defenders – from indigenous communities to forest enforcers – came under attack after opposing local projects. We have continued to advocate for businesses and financiers to look at their supply chains and operations, including pushing some of the some of the world’s biggest and best-known fruit producing brands and influential finance institutions named in our report, to review and strengthen their policies and commitments to defenders.
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Defending the Philippines

Duterte’s broken promises are leaving activists at the mercy of business at all costs in the Philippines, the country with the most killings of land and environmental defenders in 2018.
Philippines Dole 6 months on listing image

Six months on: Defending the Philippines

Six months on from publication of ‘Defending the Philippines’, we take a look at what has changed for defenders in the country – and what threats remain