THE Philippines had the worst level of impunity among 69 countries, the latest Global Impunity Index of the University of the Americas Puebla and the Center of Studies on Impunity and Justice revealed.
The Philippines scored 75.6 points in terms of the level of impunity in the country, putting it under nations with “very high impunity index,” followed by India with 70.94 points. Other countries on top of the list were Cameroon, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Paraguay, Honduras and El Salvador.
“The Philippines is going through one of its critical moments, due to the increase of violence related with organized crime and increased terrorist activities from local gangs linked with the Islamic State,” the report said.
According to the report, countries with high rates of impunity can suffer socioeconomic inequality, legal inequality, rule-of-law problems, insufficient economic development, difficulties to attract foreign investment and tourism, as well an increase in human rights violations.
In determining the level of “impunity” in the country, two factors were used.
First was the functionality of security, justice systems and the protection of human rights, which was scored according to indicators such as the percentage of individuals detained without judgment and the ratio of prosecutors to individuals brought before courts.
The second factor was the structural capacity of the justice systems with indicators such as the number of cops or judges per 100,000 of the population and the number of prisoners compared to the overall jail capacity.
The Philippines scored 94.06 for its structural security system and 99.07 for its structural justice system. The same survey also found the country fared low with 44.64 points for its functional security system and 42.22 for its functional justice system, indicating that it has not yet installed the capacities needed to deliver justice and security.
The Palace played down the country’s low scores, saying that while previous governments faced these same problems. “It is only under this administration that crime and terrorism are being decisively addressed.”
“The true depth, breadth and magnitude of crime and terrorism, funded by illegal drugs, have only been recently uncovered; resistance from those adversely affected by the current government’s campaign against illegal drugs has been strong, and internal cleansing by organized crime have all had violent results,” Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said, insisting that the survey must be taken in the proper context.