The Philippines is a multiparty, constitutional republic. May 2010 national elections–which were generally free and fair but marked by incidents of violence and allegations of vote buying and electoral fraud–resulted in the selection of President Benigno S. Aquino III, members of the bicameral legislature, and leaders of provincial and local governments. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.
Leading human rights problems were as follows: continued arbitrary, unlawful, and extrajudicial killings by national, provincial, and local government agents and by antigovernment insurgents; an underresourced and understaffed justice system that resulted in limited investigations, few prosecutions, and lengthy trials of human rights abuse cases; and widespread official corruption and abuse of power.
Other human rights problems included allegations of prisoner/detainee torture and abuse by security forces, violence and harassment against leftist and human rights activists by local security forces, disappearances, warrantless arrests, lengthy pretrial detentions, overcrowded and inadequate prison conditions, killings and harassment of journalists, continued internally displaced persons (IDPs), violence against women, local government restrictions on the provision of birth-control supplies, abuse and sexual exploitation of children, trafficking in persons, limited access to facilities for persons with disabilities, lack of full integration of indigenous people, absence of law and policy to protect persons from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, suspected vigilante killings, child labor, and ineffective enforcement of worker rights.
The government investigated and prosecuted only a limited number of reported abuses, and concerns about impunity persisted.
Long-running Communist and separatist insurgencies resulted in killings of soldiers and police in armed clashes. Terrorist organizations–Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG); Jemaah Islamiya (JI); and New People’s Army (NPA), the military wing of the country’s Communist Party–and rogue elements of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) killed security forces, local government officials, and other civilians. These organizations also were linked with kidnappings for ransom, bombings that caused civilian casualties, and reports of the use of child soldiers in combat or auxiliary roles.