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The Philippines has been facing criticism for numerous human rights violations. Earlier this month, two UN Special Rapporteurs urged [JURIST report] the government of the Philippines to protect human rights defenders and ensure that they can pursue their work without interference. The call came after killings of rights defenders such as Fr. Fausto Tenorio who was found murdered in Mindanao last year and death threats directed against the families of such defenders. In April, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] sent a letter to the chief of staff of the nation's military calling the Philippines to address the issue of numerous human rights abuses and hold perpetrators accountable [JURIST report]. HRW urged action in four areas: ending impunity for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances; addressing abuses by paramilitary forces; ceasing falsely tagging children as rebel fighters; and ending military use of schools. The human rights group had already urged the government to act on human rights violations last year when it announced that the country's authority hasfailed to investigate and prosecute extrajudicial killings [JURIST report] tied to the country's military. In July 2010 President Benigno Aquino [BBC profile] signed an executive order to set up a "truth commission" toinvestigate allegations [JURIST report] that the outgoing administration engaged in corruption and human rights violations. The move came after he announced [JURIST report] earlier that month his plans for the investigation into the allegations.
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