PH falls further in rule of law index | Inquirer News
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PH falls further in rule of law index

By: - Reporter / @dexcabalzaINQ
/ 05:23 AM October 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Although the Philippines has always been in the weaker half of surveyed countries, there was a time when the country was lauded as a “success story” in terms of its adherence to the rule of law.

That was in 2015, when the country finished 51st among 102 countries in the global Rule of Law Index (Roli) of the World Justice Project (WJP), founded by Bill Neukom, one of the wealthiest lawyers in the United States.

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But in 2020, under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, a lawyer himself, the country’s adherence to the rule of law slipped to its worst since 2010, when the Philippines was first included in the evaluative survey.

According to the latest Roli report released on Thursday, the Philippines slumped to 102nd among 139 countries, falling three more ranks from its global position last year.

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The index tallied scores given by lawyers and experts in other fields in eight areas that the WJP deemed to be indicative of the rule of law. The global results were published and explained on the WJP website.

Out of the perfect score of 1.0, the Philippines scored 0.48 in constraints on government powers, 0.44 in absence of corruption, 0.50 in open government, 0.39 in fundamental rights, 0.63 in order and security, 0.48 in regulatory enforcement, 0.45 in civil justice, and 0.31 criminal justice.

Worst since 2015

Overall, the country scored 0.46 points, its worst since scoring 0.53 in 2015, when the country was the most improved in the Southeast Asian region.

Last year, the Philippines was one of the worst, ranking 13 out of 15 countries in the region, better than only Cambodia and Myanmar.

Commenting on the Roli, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the Philippine National Police, said they took note of the country’s dismal rankings, even if the data were only collected in three areas of the county.

Nonetheless, Eleazar said the index was “a valuable tool to review, assess and make the necessary adjustments since Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao are appropriate representations of the peace and order situation of the country, being the major centers of our economic activities.”

He said PNP officials should “consider this as a challenge to do more on our mandate of maintaining peace and order.”

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Interestingly, “order and security” was the field where the Philippines performed the best, while it got its worst scores in “fundamental rights” and “criminal justice.”

The decline started in 2016, when the country fell to 70th place (out of 113 countries), then to 88th (out of 113) in the 2017-2018 index, 89th in 2019 (out of 126), and 91st in 2020 (out of 128).

WJP noted that in the Philippines, significant trends included “a deterioration in the factor measuring order and security.”

If it’s any consolation, the WJP said the Philippines was part of a global decline in adherence to the rule of law.

“In a year dominated by the global COVID-19 pandemic, 74.2 percent of the countries covered experienced declines in rule of law performance, while 25.8 percent improved,” it said in the report.

“The 74.2 percent of countries that experienced declines this year account for 84.7 percent of the world’s population, or approximately 6.5 billion people,” it added.

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TAGS: index, Philippines, Roli, rule of law, world justice project
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