The Philippines is “serious” in fighting corruption in the country even after its ranking slipped in a global corruption perception survey, Malacañang said on Friday.
The Philippines slipped to the 111th place out of 180 countries from 101st in 2016 out of 176 countries, according to the results of the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2016.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that while corruption could not be solved overnight, President Rodrigo Duterte has initiated reforms to address corruption in government.
“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, which shows our 111th (out of 180) ranking, seriously,” Roque said in a statement.
Roque pointed out that Duterte has fired government officials, including his Cabinet members “once he heard even a whiff of corruption.”
“He likewise issued Executive Order No. 43 creating the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and opened a citizens’ complaint hotline 8888,” he said.
Fighting corruption, he stressed, “needs everyone’s cooperation.”
“The government cannot do it alone. Citizens must be vigilant and report corruption,” he said.
Aside from scoring high for corruption, the Transparency International also reported that the Philippines was among the countries with “fewer press freedom” and higher number of journalist death.
Transparency International said that every week, at least one journalist is killed in a country that is highly corrupt.
But Roque said it is not the case in the Philippines.
“There is no truth that we have fewer press freedom. Our media are still able to broadcast and print or publish what they want – fake news included,” he said.
Filipinos, Roque claimed, remained “free to air their grievances with the President even declaring an unprecedented Day of Protest.”
“The President has acted swiftly with the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security to ensure the protection of media practitioners,” he said.
Based on the record of the Task Force, Roque said, all murder cases involving journalists during the Duterte administration have been solved.
“Public officials who threatened media workers have been ‘red flagged’ to show that we work without fear or favor,” he noted.
Roque added that Duterte “likewise gave a stern warning to government officials and employees that he would not tolerate corruption during his watch.” /kga