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Philippine News Digest 70

March 5, 2004 · 


-Women’s group blows whistle against violence

-Supreme Court suspends execution of two prisoners

-Survey says corruption in the Philippines worse

Women’s group blows whistle against violence

In observance of International Women’s Day March 8, the women’s rights group Gabriela in cooperation with advertising firm Ace Saatchi and Saatchi lanched the Blow-A-Whistle Campaign to break the “culture of silence” about domestic violence through heightened public awareness. “The growing incidence of violence compels all of us to take action. . . blow our whistles,” said Gabriela president Liza Maza. According to data gathered by Gabriela from the Philippine National Police, three women and nine children were raped in the country every day from January to September 2003. During the same period, 12 women and five children were battered daily. These figures reflect only cases of those who dared to speak up about their plight. Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, 29 February 2004.

Supreme Court suspends execution of two prisoners

The Supreme Court suspended the executions of Roberto Lara and Roderick Licayan last February 19 and granted them a re-trial after non-government organizations and the European Union campaigned against the death penalty. The two men were due to be the first prisoners to be executed since President Arroyo lifted a moratorium on executions in December 2003, a move perceived by many as courting big business into supporting the bid of the president for a full six-year term. The death penalty was reintroduced in the Philippines in 1993 for a wide range of crimes such as kidnapping, rape, murder, bribery and drugs offences. Between 1999 and 2000, seven people were executed by lethal injection.

Survey says corruption in the Philippines worse

The result of the latest survey of foreign business executives by the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) revealed that the problem of corruption in the Philippines is seen to have intensified in the past year. In the survey, Singapore emerged the least corrupt with a score of 0.5 and Indonesia the worst with 9.25. The Philippines scored 8.33 to place ninth in a field of 12 countries. The scores were gathered by asking 1,000 businessmen and women in the region to rate corruption in their host countries using a scale with zero as the best possible grade and 10 the worst. Source: Agence France Report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 5 March 2004.


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