MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday evening said he was elated to learn that the Philippines had placed among the top 50 safest countries in the world.
Findings by the US-based analytics group Gallup Inc. recently showed the Philippines scoring 84 in the 2020 Global Law and Order Index. The country had tied with other nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Poland and Serbia.
"I was very surprised [and] we're lumped with countries that are ideally peaceful," he said. "It only shows that we have to credit the police and military and other uniformed services of government who toil to make this country this very peaceful."
Social media users had since disputed the results, as they said human rights violations — particularly under Duterte's controversial war on drugs — continues and administration critics continue to receive threats and intimidation.
Also this week, the Philippine National Police revealed harrowing figures on the number of persons killed in Duterte's 'Oplan Tokhang' which is almost at 8,000.
Human rights groups have since disputed government figures, putting the estimate to actually at over 30,000 if counting deaths carried out by paid killers or vigilante groups.
Duterte banking on an anti-crime and corruption platform catapulted him to the presidency in 2016 from then being a mayor of Davao City, where allegations had since hounded him of operating a vigilante group known as the Davao Death Squad targetting criminals in the city.
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