MALACANANG reacted Friday to a 2017 global study that showed that the Philippines had the highest level of impunity among 69 countries.

"Previous governments faced these same problems but it is only under this administration that crime and terrorism are being decisively addressed," said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

Abella made the statement after the 2017 Global Impunity Index released by Universidad De Las Americas in Mexico showed the impunity is worst in the Philippines 45 years after the Marcos martial law.

The global study found that among 69 countries, the Philippines scored 75.6 points in terms of the level of the impunity in the country, making it the nation "with very high" impunity index.

India registered 70.94 points, Cameroon (69.39), Mexico (69.21), Peru (69.04), Venezuela (67.24), Brazil (66.72), Colombia (66.57), Nicaragua (66.34), Russia (65.49) Paraguay (65.38), Honduras (65.04), and El Salvador (65.03).

"The Philippines is going through one of its most critical moments, due to the increase of violence related to organized crime and increased terrorist activities from local gangs linked to the Islamic State (IS)," the report said.

Abella, however, said the report "must be taken in its proper context."

He said it should recognize the current administration's efforts to curb violence in the country.

"The Index made mention of 'the increase of violence related with organized crime and increased terrorist activities from local gangs linked to the Islamic State,'" Abella said.

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has waged a war against illegal drugs and terror acts in the country.

The brutal drug war has so far killed thousands of suspects while his declaration of martial law in Mindanao has sought to wipe out Maute fighters still wreaking havoc in the southern Philippines.

Abella said the country's problems could only be resolved through amendments of criminal justice system.

"The true depth, breadth and magnitude of crime and terrorism, funded by illegal drugs, have only been recently uncovered; resistance from those adversely affected by the current government’s campaign against illegal drugs has been strong, and internal cleansing by organized crime have all had violent results," he said.

"We must therefore strengthen the pillars of the criminal justice system, which include the community, law enforcement, prosecution, the courts and corrections," the presidential spokesperson said. (SunStar Philippines)