On Dec. 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an important document that focuses on the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights.
In the Biblical sense, the promotion and protection of human rights are synonymous with the journey towards the attainment of a “new heaven and a new Earth.”
In the predominantly Catholic Philippines, however, 70 years after the community of nations adopted the declaration, 27,000 people have been killed in a span of just over two years as a result of measures including President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
These are not “cold” statistics. The victims were people with names and families. Hundreds of undocumented enforced disappearances have occurred, not to mention the more than 2,000 unresolved cases that dates back almost 50 years.
Multiplied by the number of family members of each victim, the devastation of Duterte’s war is affecting thousands of poor Filipinos. The victims have been stripped of the most sacred right to life and liberty, leaving orphans in their wake with little or no access to justice.