The situation of human rights defenders has improved, to an extent, since the end of the Arroyo administration in 2010, but the current government has failed to address continuing violations against HRDs. HRDs still face extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, fabricated charges, arrest, denial of bail, threats and intimidation, and restrictions on their rights of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. Heavy militarisation in some areas, Mindanao in particular, significantly affects the work of HRDs.
Of serious concern is the persistence of extrajudicial killings and physical attacks against HRDs, nearly all of which are perpetrated with impunity. The Philippines, despite being a party to several international human rights treaties which impose a duty on the state to investigate alleged violations of the right to life, has provided human rights defenders with little or no protection.
Indigenous rights defenders are particularly exposed to retaliation because of their work on land rights, forced evictions, the environment and the defense of indigenous peoples' traditional way of life. Police, the military or private security personnel hired by corporations target them with killings, surveillance, threats and intimidation. HRDs also face criminal charges of using violence, and public defamation campaigns which brand them as agents of armed groups related to the Communist Party.