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PHL slips in 2017 global corruption index, tagged among Asia’s ‘worst offenders’

The Philippines slipped in the global Corruption Perception Index 2017 after getting its lowest score in five years, and was even  tagged as among the "worst offenders" in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Based on Transparency International's latest index, the Philippines' score went down from 35 in 2016 to 34 in 2017. The last time the country scored as low was in 2012.

With a lower score, the Philippines slipped to 111th place (out of 180 countries) from 101st in 2016.

Along with India and Maldives, the Philippines was also found to be "among the worst regional offenders" when it comes to journalists, activists, opposition leaders and staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies being threatened or murdered.

"These countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms and higher numbers of journalist deaths," said the report, adding that in the last six years, 15 journalists working on corruption stories in these countries have been murdered, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Transparency International said the results indicated that countries with the least protection for press and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) also tended to have the worst rates of corruption.

The NGO said every week at least one journalist is killed in a country that is highly corrupt.

The analysis, which incorporates data from the CPJ, shows that in the last six years, more than 9 out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that score 45 or less on the index.

"The majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out," the organization said.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

The index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. "Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new," the report read. — MDM, GMA News