Palace: We are for rule of law
The findings of an international organization that the “rule of law” had deteriorated in the Philippines were “not based on reality,” Malacañang said on Thursday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was referring to the World Justice Project (WJP) 2017-2018 Rule of Law Index, released on Wednesday, which showed that the Philippines dropped 18 places in its rankings of 113 countries.
“I’m not saying that our criminal justice system is perfect. It’s really weak and cases take too long to resolve. Victims of crime and human rights violations wait for a long time to get justice,” Roque said in a media briefing in Baguio City.
But while the criminal justice system was “not perfect,” he said this had persisted long before the Duterte administration.
Roque said that because President Duterte was a former fiscal and had shown political will, he was confident that the justice system would improve under his administration.
“That is something that I think is a reflection of the need to have further reforms in our justice system,” Roque said.
“But that has been there, not just during the Duterte administration,” he added.
In a statement, the WJP said “the biggest mover in this year’s WJP Rule of Law Index (calculated by comparing countries against the 2016 rankings) was the Philippines.”
“The Philippines continued to drop significantly in the global ranks, falling 18 places to 88th out of 113 countries,” it said.
The Philippines, according to the WJP, saw the most significant deterioration in constraints on government powers, fundamental rights, order and security, and criminal justice.
“It’s score places it at 13 out of 15 countries in the East Asia and Pacific region and 17 out of 30 among lower-middle income countries,” the organization said.
The WJP said its findings were based on more than 110,000 household and 3,000 expert surveys worldwide.
“We are witnessing a global deterioration in fundamental aspects of the rule of law,” said William H. Neukom, WJP founder and CEO.
“Reduced adherence to the rule of law anywhere threatens development everywhere,” he said.
The group said a majority of countries worldwide saw their scores decline in the areas of human rights, checks on government powers, and civil and criminal justice.
It said the greatest drop was seen in “Fundamental Rights,” which declined in 71 countries.
Fundamental rights include absence of discrimination, right to life and security, due process, freedom of expression and religion, right to privacy, freedom of association and labor rights.
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