The Philippines slipped 14 notches in the 2019 index, ranking 113th out of 180 countries from 99th spot in 2018. The CPI, which was released by Transparency International, evaluated the countries using a scale from zero to 100, in which zero translated to “highly corrupt” while 100 meant “very clean.”
Presidential photo/Alfred Frias
Duterte may fire more corrupt officials over CPI ranking
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ lower ranking in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) would prod President Duterte to fire more corrupt officials, Malacañang said yesterday.?

The Philippines slipped 14 notches in the 2019 index, ranking 113th out of 180 countries from 99th spot in 2018. The CPI, which was released by Transparency International, evaluated the countries using a scale from zero to 100, in which zero translated to “highly corrupt” while 100 meant “very clean.”

The Philippines scored 34 in the 2019 index, along with Nepal, Eswatini, El Salvador, Kazakhstan and Zambia. ?

“It will goad us to sack more corrupt officials, provided, of course, there is evidence to show that they are (corrupt),” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said at a press briefing when asked to react to the latest CPI ranking. ?

“The problem is this: there are many complaints of corruption but the President, as a lawyer, needs certain documentary and testimonial evidence to give him the basis (to act). And many Filipinos are still afraid to reveal themselves, or to give evidence of the sort,” he said. ?

The CPI 2019 report said vibrant economic powers like China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines “continue to struggle to tackle corruption.”

It cited the restrictions on participation in public affairs and the supposed effort to silence dissenting voices and to keep decision-making out of public scrutiny.

Panelo admitted that the government is struggling against corruption because “the President’s hands are tied by the due process clause of the Constitution.”

“It would be different if all of these have been appointed by the President. You can just dismiss them outright. You have to file charges against them, you need evidence to back your complaint,” the Palace spokesman said. 

Panelo, nevertheless, claimed that the administration’s anti-corruption effort is not a failure. ?

“We’ve been fighting corruption and as we have seen, the President has been firing top officials. And the complaints against erring government officials have been charged in the ombudsman and in courts,” he added. 

The President has vowed not to tolerate even a whiff of corruption under his watch and has dismissed several officials, including Cabinet members, who were linked to irregularities.

His critics, however, doubt the seriousness of his campaign, noting that he has given new posts to some of the officials he had previously fired over corruption issues.

CORRUPT OFFICIALS DUTERTE
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