Palace dis­putes peace in­dex re­port

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By ALEXIS ROMERO

Mala­cañang yes­ter­day dis­puted the re­sults of this year’s Global Peace In­dex (GPI), which sug­gested that the Philip­pines is among the least peace­ful coun­tries in the world be­cause of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings and in­ter­nal con­flict.

The Philip­pines ranked 138th among 163 na­tions in­cluded in the 2017 GPI, which mea­sures the state of global peace through in­di­ca­tors that were cat­e­go­rized un­der do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional con­flict, so­ci­etal safety and se­cu­rity and mil­i­ta­riza­tion.

The coun­try’s peace rank­ing was the se­cond low­est in the Asia-Pa­cific, only bet­ter than the to­tal­i­tar­ian state North Korea, which ranked 150th.

Pres­i­den­tial spokesman Ernesto Abella said the GPI find­ings might have re­flected a po­lit­i­cal slant, not­ing that the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion re­ceived very fa­vor­able scores in lo­cal polls.

“We’re not en­tirely sure where the GPI, Global Peace In­dex an­a­lyst… who ap­par­ently is sup­posed to be a lo­cal, is re­ally com­ing from. Maybe there’s a po­lit­i­cal slant some­where,” Abella said in a press brief­ing in Mala­cañang.

“But based on re­sults, the net sat­is­fac­tion of Filipino peo- ple is quite high,” he added.

Abella said pre­vi­ous sur­veys had in­di­cated that 75 per­cent of Filipinos were happy with the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion’s per­for­mance, 62 per­cent were sat­is­fied with its cam­paign against crime, 64 per­cent were sat­is­fied with its fight against ter­ror­ism and 76 per­cent were happy with its ef­fort to help the poor.

He also cited a re­cent sur­vey sug­gest­ing that eight in 10 Filipinos feel safer be­cause of the gov­ern­ment’s war on il­le­gal drugs.

Ac­cord­ing to the GPI re­port, the Philip­pines got low scores in so­ci­etal safety and se­cu­rity in­di­ca­tors be­cause of Pres­i­dent Duterte’s “bloody war against drugs and crime (that) has been ex­tended na­tion­wide.”

“The Philip­pines’ homi­cide rate, in­car­cer­a­tion rate and num­ber of deaths from in­ter­nal con­flict have all de­te­ri­o­rated. The ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings of al­leged crim­i­nals, drug mules and users have sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased se­cu­rity risks, even for or­di­nary cit­i­zens who could po­ten­tially get caught in the cross­fire,” the re­port read.

Pre­vi­ous re­ports claimed that 7,000 peo­ple have been killed be­cause of the anti-drug crack­down but Philip­pine of­fi­cials dis­pute this, say­ing only more than 1,000 cases of killings were found to be drug-re­lated.

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