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Twisted yellow spins

Similar to the extrajudicial killings (EJK) figures that the critics of President Duterte peddle to an international media which are eager for stories detrimental to the Philippine leader, periodical reports are also preferred tools in the campaign to shape public opinion against Rody.
The recent Transparency International annual corruption perception index (CPI) was a case in point. In the annual listing, the Philippines ranking dropped 13 points from last year.
The yellow media immediately seized on the CPI results and concluded that the Philippines under Rody was among the most corrupt in the world.
One yellow outfit stated that the score was the lowest in five years but TI has revised this year the standard on corruption this year to include data from the Committee to Protect Journalists in which the Philippines fares poorly due to reported deaths of members of media.
Yellow sympathizer Panos Mourdokutas took the analysis to the extreme in a Forbes article saying that “President Rodrigo Duterte’s death squads have killed the democratic process in the Philippines, and they haven’t killed the system that reproduces and perpetuates corruption.”
He added the Philippines is getting more corrupt under Duterte, dropping 13 notches in the 2017 Corruption Index published recently by Transparency International.
Mourdokutas is part of the so-called Columbia University connection that is being funded by New York-based Filipino American billionaire Loida Nicolas Lewis through her sister Imelda Nicolas who is an alumna of Columbia University.
Mourdokutas after handing out his verdict on the Philippines, however, reversed gear and said that the findings of the survey should be interpreted with a great deal of caution, for a couple of reasons.
“One of them is that they are based on other surveys and polls, and therefore, subject to aggregation errors. Another reason is that some of the data included in these surveys go back a couple of years ago, and therefore that data reflects the policies of the previous administrations more than it does the Duterte administration,” he ceded.
Nonetheless, he wrote in the lead paragraph that the country is getting more corrupt under Rody.
The real score in the CPI, according to risk manager Pacific Strategies and Analysis (PSA) is that the difference between this and last year does not have a huge bearing.
It said a one-point drop is not statistically significant and that it could be the result of either real changes on the ground or a slight variation in the collection of data or survey respondents.
“CPI published a list of countries experiencing statistically significant changes, and the smallest such change was 6 points. In other words, Transparency International doesn’t think this one point drop means much,” the PSA noted.
The CPI incorporates 13 different surveys which PSA said “a survey of this kind isn’t very sensitive to short-term policy developments or issues in the news.”
“Another thing to note about the methodology is that while TI’s website uses a narrative to describe some causes to the decline of SE Asian states’ scores, their data technically can’t tell us why a score has gone up or down. A lot of TI’s narrative about trends is just speculation or interpolation,” it added.
PSA said more definitive data are available such as those from the World Bank, World Economic Forum and the Heritage Foundation.
It realistically added that there won’t be any quick fix, “so nobody should get frustrated if new policies don’t produce instant results.”
The TI’s annual report is, however, a good study on how the well-funded yellow critics of Mr. Duterte twists and manipulates data to fit their sinister agenda.

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