The Philippines seems to be hell bent on gaining top position on awkward and downright pointless “world record” nominations, well this week they earned another number #1 position, this time without lifting a finger or bribing locals to vote for it.
The Philippines has earned the dubious distinction of having the worst record in the world for bringing wrongdoers to justice. The country topped the list of 59 countries listed in the World Impunity Index posted yearly by the Impunity and Justice Research Center of the Universidad de las Americas, a private university in Puebla, Mexico.
The Impunity Index was released this past weekend ranking the Philippines worse than Mexico. Also in the top five were Colombia, Turkey and Russia.
Researchers for the university defined impunity as “the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative, or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried, and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to making reparations to their victims.”
Researchers also noted that corruption was not the source but actually the result of impunity.
“The reason people have become increasingly corrupt is because they realise how the system functions, how the structure of the system of government creates conditions to allow them to escape unpunished,” said L A Derbez Bautista, rector of the university.
“Having good laws is not enough for a country to develop,” the study stressed. “People need to know that those are going to be effectively implemented.”
According to the team that put out the report, impunity is a concept with three dimensions – ‘security’, ‘justice’, and ‘human rights.’ The research team said they evaluated each in terms of structural capacity and functionality in the countries included in the list.
Out of the 193 counties listed with the United Nations, only 59 were included in the study as updated information was not available on the three dimensions of impunity – countries like Brazil, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Nigeria do not periodically give information to the UN on security and justice and were excluded from the study.
The Philippines had the worst outcome of the 14 factors included in the Index – the three groups which the 14 factors fall under are “problems with public security”, “administration and delivery of justice” and “violations of human rights.”
The study on public security is in no way related to the number of police in the streets, public places, malls etc – the study is about the police and their capacity and preparation as well as how they carry out operations within their country.