By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

PHILIPPINE democracy continues to be flawed, in accordance to the Economist Intelligence Device (EIU), as the country slipped 1 put to No. 55 out of 167 international locations in the London-centered consider tank’s democracy index last 12 months.

The country below President Rodrigo R. Duterte obtained a score of 6.56 from 6.64 in 2019.

The Philippines was behind Southeast Asian neighbors Taiwan (11), Malaysia (39) and Timor Leste (44), but was better than Indonesia (64), Thailand (73), Singapore (74), Myanmar (135), Vietnam (137) and Laos (161).

Philippines slips in democracy ranking

“While it seems that our nation went down one particular location in the stated index, our status is considerably from getting categorized as a hybrid or authoritarian routine as the review is largely based on how governments have responded to the existing pandemic,” Salvador S. Panelo, Mr. Duterte’s chief attorney, reported in a statement.

“The President, with community overall health as his precedence, opted to restrict the people’s mobilization as this would gradual down the unfold of the COVID-19 virus, a system that was commended by the Earth Well being Firm (WHO),” he included.

This does not mean that the government would cease pursuing measures and guidelines built to advertise a extra vivid democracy, Mr. Panelo claimed.

European nations around the world dominated the “full democracy” classification, with Norway topping the world index with a rating of 9.81, followed by Iceland (9.37), Sweden (9.26), New Zealand (9.25) and Finland (9.20).

13 international locations in Europe had been classed as “full democracies” and seven as “flawed democracies,” up from five in 2019.

Only 8.4{540ccc4681f92a8237c705b0cdebbb9da373ec200da159e6cc1fd9f393be00be} of the world’s population are living in total democracies or nations that deliver their citizens civil liberties and political freedoms as properly as an productive governing administration and political tradition, according to a copy of the report.

Much more than a 3rd dwell under authoritarian rule, several of them in China.

The 2020 normal global score of 5.37 was the lowest given that the index initial came out in 2006, when many governments about the planet restricted person freedoms and civil liberties amid a bird flu pandemic.

“The most important downward rating modifications have been in the category of civil liberties, for which the aggregate rating fell sharply, and in the working of government category,” said EIU, the exploration division of the Economist Group.

More than 100,000 violators of quarantine protocols were being arrested in the Philippines since Mr. Duterte locked down the whole Luzon island in mid-March to incorporate a coronavirus pandemic.

Myanmar and Hong Kong confronted the biggest nation downgrades, pushed by “mass voter suppression in the previous and a crackdown by the authorities on dissent in the latter,” according to the report. Hong Kong was “relegated from the flawed democracy classification to that of a hybrid regime,” it added.

Army Role
The state in June 2020 passed an extradition law that penalized secession and subversion forcing hundreds of 1000’s of protesters to the streets.

In mid-2020, Mr. Duterte signed a legislation expanding crimes in opposition to terror, which critics said could be utilized to violate human legal rights and stifle dissent.

“The lockdown limitations and arrests of violators in the Philippines could be a aspect, but there were also non-lockdown related incidents past 12 months,” Maria Ela L. Atienza, a political science professor at the College of the Philippines, mentioned in an e-mail.

These incorporate unexplained fatalities of drug suspects, congressional rejection of Abs-CBN Corp.’s franchise renewal and Mr. Duterte’s continuing assaults from his critics and opposition figures, she claimed.

Ms. Atienza also cited the rising purpose of the armed service, police and retired generals in battling the pandemic and continuous crimson-tagging of critics.

“Questions pertaining to the transparency of the federal government in procurement of health-related and other wellness-relevant materials necessary to beat the pandemic and allegations of corruption in Philhealth and DOH had been very distinguished very last year,” she claimed.

All through Global Human Legal rights Working day on Dec. 10, law enforcement arrested a journalist and five labor organizers in individual operations for illegal gun possession — the common demand towards activists.

At least 188 human rights defenders have been killed underneath the Duterte administration, while 426 activists and community organizers have been arrested, in accordance to human rights group Karapatan.

Mr. Panelo reported the Duterte administration “is committed to go on respecting the voices of all citizens, as evidenced by the unlimited criticisms from the political opposition, the left, as nicely as the government’s detractors, who have unimpeded obtain to both of those community and worldwide push.”