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Corruption cannot be solved overnight — Palace spokesman

Amid the unwavering efforts of the Duterte administration to combat corruption, Malacañang yesterday said the country’s deep-rooted problem cannot be solved overnight.
This was presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s reaction to the results of Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 which showed the Philippines’ ranking slip to 111th out of 180 countries from 101st in 2016.
“We have to underscore that corruption is a problem that cannot be solved overnight,” Roque said in a press statement.
Thus, he added, the administration of President Duterte is taking “seriously” the results of the annual CPI.
According to TI’s CPI 2017, the Philippines got a score of 34, down from 35 in the 2015 and 2016 TI’s reports.
Roque said he noticed that the Germany-based global civil society organization factored in the protection of the press and non-government organizations in its ranking.
The TI, he added, mentioned the Philippines as among countries that scored high for corruption, have fewer press freedom and higher number of journalist death.
Roque said it 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,” he explained.
The Palace official said the President has acted swiftly on the media killings by creating 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,” Roque said.
On the anti-corruption campaign, 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,” Roque said.
“Fighting corruption needs everyone’s cooperation. The government cannot do it alone. Citizens must be vigilant and report corruption,” he added. 

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