The Philippine Star
Palace disputes peace index report
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.