2nd least peaceful country in Asia Pacific? PH gov’t flabbergasted by report

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. PHOTO: ABS-CBN News

Malacañang disputed a study which placed the Philippines as the second least peaceful country in Asia Pacific, just behind North Korea.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the study does not make sense as most Filipinos have expressed satisfaction with the government’s efforts to fight poverty, criminality, terrorism and the illegal drug menace.

“Basically, we don’t know where that person is coming from, because if you based it on reports… what we know from local polls is that 75 percent of Filipinos are happy with Duterte administration’s performance,” Abella said in a press briefing, referring to the latest Social Weather Stations survey showing “very good” public satisfaction with the administration.

Abella said, the government does not understand where the report based its findings. He added, without elaborating, that one of the analysts involved in the study was a “local.”

“Maybe there is a political slant somewhere, but based on survey results, net satisfaction of Filipinos is quite high,” he said.

The 2017 Global Peace Index said the Philippines ranked 138th among 163 nations included in the report.

In the Asia Pacific region, Philippines was the second least peaceful country, just behind Kim Jong Un-ruled North Korea which was ranked 150th.

The report, released by the Institute of Economics and Peace, cited the government’s war on drugs as one of the factors which contributed to the deterioration in the country’s Societal Safety and Security indicators.

“The Philippines’ overall score has deteriorated since new president Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016. A bloody war against drugs and crime has been extended nationwide, and is reflected in a deterioration of the country’s Societal Safety and Security indicators,” the report said.

“The Philippines’ homicide rate, incarceration rate and number of deaths from internal conflict have all deteriorated. The extrajudicial killings of alleged criminals, drug mules and users have significantly increased security risks, even for ordinary citizens who could potentially get caught in the crossfire,” it added.

New Zealand, which ranked second most peaceful country in the world, topped countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Iceland maintained its spot as the most peaceful country globally followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark.

War-torn Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen filled the bottom spots of the index.

Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the latest Global Peace Index ranks 163 countries based on their level of peacefulness.

Story: ABS-CBN News

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