PH falls one spot in global democracy index for 2020

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 4) - The Philippines continues to have a "flawed democracy" as it falls one spot in a global democracy index report released on Wednesday.

London-based think tank The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the Philippines 55th out of 167 countries in its Democracy Index 2020 report. The country previously ranked 54th in 2019, 53rd in 2018, and 51st in 2017.

The Philippines recorded an average score of 6.56, enough to be part of the 52 countries in the world under the "flawed democracy" category of the report for 2020. Nations in this category have average scores of greater than 6 and less than or equal to 8.

The country scored 9.17 in electoral process and pluralism, 5.00 in functioning of government, 7.78 in political participation, 4.38 in political culture, and 6.47 in civil liberties.

The Economist Intelligence Unit classified nations with "flawed democracy" as those with free and fair elections and respect in basic civil liberties, but with problems such as media freedom infringement and minor suppression of political opposition.

Countries under the "flawed democracy" category also have "underdeveloped political culture, low levels of political participation, and governance issues."

The London-based think tank also used four critical areas of democracy that are vital in the country's scores: fair and free national elections, voters' security, foreign powers' influence on government, and civil service's capability to implement policies.

Reacting to the global democracy index, Malacañang asserted it is committed in respecting the citizens' voices and implement measures that will promote a more vibrant democratic setting in the country.

"We will similarly continue to respect and promote the civil liberties of our people as we strive to further develop a democratic political culture and produce a government which efficiently functions to address their needs while encouraging their participation in governance," said Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo in a statement.

The Philippines also slipped into 115th out of 180 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2020 released by Transparency International last January 28. The ranking was two slots down from being 113th in 2019. The index evaluated countries and territories by "their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and businesspeople."

Human rights advocates have scored the Duterte administration for alleged extrajudicial killings in the country due to the national government's war against illegal drugs. Some international bodies like the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights office and the European Union sought to end the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines.

Last year, the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act took effect despite the pandemic situation. The law, which aims to boost security and protection against terrorist acts, has been questioned by many groups before the Supreme Court for relaxe human rights safeguards and being prone to abuse.