We have to underscore that corruption is a problem that cannot be solved overnight; thus, we are taking the results of Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2017, which shows our 111th (out of 180) ranking, seriously.
We have to point out that Transparency International factored in the protection of the press and non-governmental organizations in its ranking. It particularly mentioned the Philippines as among countries which score high for corruption, have fewer press freedom, and higher number of journalist death. Transparency International even cited that every week at least one journalist is killed in a country that is highly corrupt, which is not the case in the Philippines.
There is no truth that we have fewer press freedom. Our media are still able to broadcast and print or publish what they want – fake news included. Filipinos are free to air their grievances with the President even declaring an unprecedented Day of Protest.
The President has acted swiftly with the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security to ensure the protection of media practitioners.
Per the record of the Task Force, all murder cases involving journalists during the Duterte administration have been solved. In addition, public officials who threatened media workers have been “red flagged” to show that we work without fear or favor.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte likewise gave a stern warning to government officials and employees that he would not tolerate corruption during his watch.
The Chief Executive fired many government officials, including members of the Cabinet, once he heard even a whiff of corruption. He likewise issued Executive Order No. 43 creating the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and opened a citizens’ complaint hotline 8888.
Fighting corruption needs everyone’s cooperation. The government cannot do it alone. Citizens must be vigilant and report corruption.