MANILA, September 23, 2017 — Presidential Spokesperson Ernest Abella yesterday noted that a report supposedly showing the Philippines with a very high impunity index must be taken in its proper context especially in light of the presence of organized crime and terrorism.
In the 2017 Global Impunity Index, a survey of 69 countries by the Universidad De Las Americas in Mexico, the Philippines ranked on top with a score of 75.6 points.
Next in the top tier are India (70.94), Cameroon (69.39), Mexico (69.21), Peru (69.04), Venezuela (67.24), Brazil (66.72), Colombia (66.67), Nicaragua (66.34), Russia (64.49), Paraguay (65.38), Honduras (65.04) and El Salvador (65.03).
In a statement, Abella said the Index made mention of “the increase of violence related with organized crime and increased terrorist activities from local gangs linked to the Islamic State.”
The actual report read: “The Philippines is going through one of its most critical moments, due to the increase of violence related with organized crime and increased terrorist activities from local gangs linked to the Islamic State.”
Abella added that previous governments faced these same problems, but it is only under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte that crime and terrorism are being decisively addressed.
“The true depth, breadth and magnitude of crime and terrorism, funded by illegal drugs, have only been recently uncovered. Resistance from those adversely affected by the current government’s campaign against illegal drugs has been strong, and internal cleansing by organized crime have all had violent results,” Abella said.
President Duterte has waged an anti-drug war since his first day in office and vowed to pursue drug syndicates until the whole drug structure is destroyed.
He declared martial law in the whole of Mindanao after the Islamic State-inspired Maute group laid siege in Marawi City on May 23.
The siege led to the evacuation of Marawi residents.
So far, the fighting has led to the killing of 673 extremists and 149 state forces.
About 47 civilians were confirmed killed in the hands of the terrorists.
The study measured impunity using two factors: the functionality of security, justice systems and the protection of human rights; and the structural capacity of the justice systems with indicators such as the number of cops or judges per 100,000 of the population and the number of prisoners compared to the overall jail capacity.
The study said the Philippines has problems in both functional and structural dimensions.
“We must, therefore, strengthen the pillars of the criminal justice system, which include the community, law enforcement, prosecution, the courts and corrections,” Abella said. (Jose Cielito Regent/PNA)