PH’s low rule of law performance ‘distressing, embarrassing’ — NUPL
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) pointed out on Saturday that it is “distressing and embarrassing” that the Philippines ranked low on the rule of law performance.
The World Justice Project recently reported that the Philippines placed 102nd out of 139 countries in the rule of law performance.
“It is distressing and embarrassing that the Philippines again found itself in a cellar performance in another international monitoring of important gauges of governance like issues of pandemic response, corruption, peace & order and now ‘rule of law,’” the NUPL said in a statement.
“The result, which is based on both experience and perception, is a wake-up call and also a sad commentary on the state of “rule of law” in our country,” it added.
The NUPL said that “something is terribly wrong” as the country “failed most in fundamental rights and criminal justice system in the global index.”
“This does not give any comfort in the public’s confidence in the justice system,” the group lamented.
The report likewise contradicts government claims on a “robust” legal and justice system and promotion of human rights, NUPL noted.
“That the slippery downslide in ranking was pronounced starting from the assumption to office of President Duterte to date is a reflection of the pits we find ourselves in, where the premium is on ‘order and security’ from the lens of the State. This is as if the primacy of human rights does not in fact essentially guarantee real peace, order and security for the people in the end,” NUPL said.
As a group of lawyers, NUPL said that they will continue to pursue legal and judicial reforms “while pushing back against continuing assaults and corrosive measures by the political branches on basic rights and freedoms.”
The group further said that the public should be “on the lookout” on the platforms of 2022 candidates and “urge them to present clear and concrete positions on these paramount issues.”