The Philippines maintained its "partly free" status in the world freedom index after dropping in the rankings last year due to the extrajudicial killings carried out as part of President Rodrigo Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign. AFP/Noel Celis, File

Philippines remains 'partly free' in world freedom index
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - January 17, 2018 - 12:33pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines maintained its "partly free" status in the 2018 world freedom index released by human rights advocacy group Freedom House.

The Philippines garnered an aggregate score of 62/100 in the index, which is one point lower than its score in 2017.

The country also scored three out of seven in freedom ranking, political rights and civil liberties. Countries were rated one (most free) to seven (least free).

Freedom House is yet to release a full report on the status of the Philippines, which is among the 58 countries that qualified as "partly free."

In the 2017 index, a downward trend arrow was observed in the Philippines due to the thousands of extrajudicial killings carried out in the conduct of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

"Long-term violent insurgencies have continued for decades. Impunity remains the norm for crimes against activists and journalists, and newly elected president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has led to a surge in extrajudicial killings and vigilante justice," the 2017 world freedom index read.

In November 2017, Freedom House released its Freedom on the Net report where the group discussed how an army of social media commentators was paid to manipulate information from June 2016 to May 2017.

The report also noted that overall internet freedom in the country slightly worsened during the same period.

According to the new Freedom in the World report, 30 percent of all countries assessed were "partly free" and were home to nearly 1.8 billion people or 24 percent of the world's total.

A total of 88 countries were designated as "free" while 49 countries were deemed "not free."

Freedom House reported that democracy around the world faced its most serious crisis in decades last year as basic tenets such as free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press and the rule of law came under attack.

The report noted that "repressive regimes" in Asia continued to consolidate their power while marginalized communities in Cambodia, China, Myanmar, the Maldives and Timor-Leste faced dire threats.

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