PH on transparency group's 2017 corruption watchlist

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — An international anti-corruption group has placed the Philippines on its corruption watchlist for 2017.

In its 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report released on Wednesday, Transparency International said corruption in the Philippines should be monitored closely, as the alleged presence of death squads and extra judicial killings threaten democratic institutions in the country.

It said while President Rodrigo Duterte depends heavily on his anti-corruption rhetoric, progress is undermined by the presence of media attacks and alleged death squads in the country.

However, while the group has expressed concern over the country's political climate, it said the full effects of the change in administration have yet to be seen and should be kept under watch for now.

Other Asian countries on the watchlist include China, Australia, India, Malaysia, and South Korea.

The report listed Afghanistan, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Laos as countries whose anti-corruption efforts are "improving," while labeling Cambodia and Thailand as "worse" off.

Transparency International gave the Philippines a score of 35 out of 100 in its Corruption Perception -- the same as last year.

This ranks the Philippines 101st among 176 countries; a slight dip from last year's ranking, where it placed 95 out of 168 despite having the same score.

Denmark topped the list with a score of 90 while Somalia, which was at the bottom of the rankings, scored 10. The global average score was 43.

The group has consistently ranked the Philippines in the lower half of the corruption index. In previous years, The Philippines scored 34 (2012), 36 (2013), and 38 (2014).

The Philippines joins Asia Pacific neighbors, most of which sit at the bottom half of the CPI rankings.

The group attributed the region's poor performance to the lack of accountability in their governments, citing the abundance of corruption issues undermining public trust in the government.

Transparency International's CPI was first launched in 1995. While the group did not provide a specific breakdown of its scores, it said it tracks perceptions of corruption based on government and business analysis experts.