Gov’t taking ‘most corrupt’ tag seriously
After Transparency International (TI) listed the Philippines as among the most corrupt in the world, Malacañang said the Duterte administration was taking the report seriously and called on people to help fight the problem.
The Philippines ranked 111th out of 180 countries, with a score of 34 out of 100, in TI’s corruption perception index in 2017. The country ranked 101st in 2016, with a score of 35.
Transparency International said the results showed that corruption remained strong in many countries, with individuals who challenged the status quo facing retaliation.
“In some countries across the region, journalists, activists, opposition leaders and even staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies are threatened, and in the worst cases, even murdered,” it said.
“Philippines, India and the Maldives are among the worst regional offenders in this respect. These countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms and higher numbers of journalist deaths,” it added.
The report was released amid President Duterte’s assertion that his administration was serious in fighting corruption.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said ridding the country of corruption would take some time.
“We have to underscore that corruption is a problem that cannot be solved overnight. Thus, we are taking the results of Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 … seriously,” Roque said in a statement.
“Fighting corruption needs everyone’s cooperation. The government cannot do it alone,” he added.
But according to Roque, TI’s statement that at least one journalist every week is killed in a highly corrupt country does not apply to the Philippines.
“There is no truth that we have fewer press freedom. Media are still able to broadcast and print or publish what they want—fake news included,” he said.
Mr. Duterte created the Presidential Task Force on Media Security to protect media practitioners, he said, adding that all murder cases involving journalists that took place under the administration had been “solved.”
“In addition, public officials who threatened media workers have been ‘red flagged’ to show that we work without fear or favor,” he added.
Public officials warned
Roque also said the President had warned public officials that he would not tolerate corruption. He created the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and opened a complaint hotline for citizens.
“The Chief Executive fired many government officials, including members of the Cabinet, once he heard even a whiff of corruption,” he said.