Vice President Leni Robredo said she was “saddened” but not surprised by the Philippine’s low ranking in the latest World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index, especially with was she has seen under the Duterte administration.
“Nakakalungkot. Sobrang nakakalungkot pero hindi siya totally unexpected. Alam naman natin kung ano ang nangyari in the last five and a half years (It’s saddening. It’s so saddening but it’s not totally unexpected. We know what has happened in the last five years and a half),” Robredo said in a press conference Friday, Oct. 15.
The presidential aspirant was referring to the 2021 WJP Rule of Law Index, where the Philippines was ranked no.102 out of 139 countries.
According to opposition leader Robredo, the Philippines has gone backwards in the rankings since she left the House of Representatives in 2016.
“When I was still in Congress, bahagi ako noong inter-agency committee na sinisiguro na lalo pa tayong tumaas—lalong tumaas iyong ranking natin dito, tapos baliktad iyong nangyari (I was part of the inter-agency committee that sought to ensure that we would go up in the rankings, but what happened was the opposite),” said the former Camarines Sur representative.
Since 2016 or the start of President Duterte’s term, the Philippines’ overall score in the WJP Rule of Law Index has dropped from 0.51 to 0.46.
According to Robredo, the deterioration of the rule of law in the Philippines is a serious problem, one that permeates various “gut issues” in society.
“Seryosong problema ito kasi hindi lang siya… hindi lang—kapag sinabi kasing rule of law, parang isa siyang konsepto na parang hindi nakaka-relate iyong maraming tao (This is serious problem…although when you say rule of law, this is a concept that a lot of people can’t relate to).
“Pero ang hindi natin naiintindihan, na kapag hindi maayos iyong performance natin as far as iyong respecting the rule of law, iyong tama nito sa napakaraming mga gut issues para sa mga kababayan natin ay nandiyan (But what we don’t understand is, if we don’t improve our performance as far as respecting the rule of law is concerned, it will affect a lot of gut issues involving our countrymen),” said the lawyer-official.
Robredo said these issues include health, education, human rights, and social justice, to name a few.
Alleged extra-judicial killings (EJKs) has become an international concern under President Duterte, particularly in connection with his bloody war on illegal drugs. It’s the main reason why the Philippine leader has a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has argued that among all the candidates vying for the presidency in the May 2022 polls, only Robredo would give importance to the rule of law issue.