Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

The national government will exert “greater efforts” to uphold and promote rule of law in the Philippines, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

(Photo Courtesy: Rappler)

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque echoed the remark made by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra after the Philippines ranked 102nd out of 139 countries in the latest World Justice Project’s (WJP) Rule of Law Index, down from 91st place in 2020.

“Well, we stand by what Secretary of Justice Meynard Guevarra said that we are going to exert greater efforts to uphold and promote the rule of law in the country,” he said in a Palace press briefing.

He also stood by Guevarra’s stance that the crime rate in the country has been on a downtrend in recent years, except for a few sensational cases.

“As Secretary Guevarra said, from where he stands, except for a few sensational cases, our crime rate decreased. Aside from this, our government is addressing the human rights violations and alleged abuses in the conduct of the anti-illegal drug campaign,” he added in Filipino.

To further uphold and promote rule of law in the country, Roque said other institutions or pillars in the criminal justice system also need to do their part.

“You know, the rule of law has five pillars. The Executive is in charge of two — the police and jails. We need to unite with other pillars including society as it is part of the criminal justice system,” he said in Filipino.

He said it is essential for all pillars to work in cooperation and coordination with one another.

“But we need our judiciary to hasten the process, and we need our civil society to keep watch and use our process so that all violators will be punished if necessary,” he added in Filipino.

Based on the WJP report, the Philippines also remained at 13th place out of 15 countries in East Asia and the Pacific region, ahead of Myanmar and Cambodia.

The index measures adherence to the rule of law based on eight indicators — constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

The Philippines’ score also dropped by 2.9 percent in this year’s index to 0.46 on a zero to one scale. A score of one indicates the strongest adherence to the rule of law. 

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