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Philippines 2nd most affected by terror
Published on: Friday, March 24, 2023
By: GMA News
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Philippines 2nd most affected by terror
Items from the Abu Sayyaf, recovered by the Armed Forces in Western Mindanao.
MANILA: The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2023 results showed the Philippines is the second most affected country by terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region with a score of 6.328 or medium impact.

Followed by the Philippines, Myanmar ranked as the top most country affected by terrorism with a score of 7.977 score or high impact. They were followed by Indonesia, Thailand , and New Zealand.

Globally, the Philippines is at the 18th spot out of 163 countries, which is lower compared to its last year’s record at 17th spot with a score of 6.786.

The GTI, produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), is a report that “provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last decade.”

“The calculation of the GTI score considers not only deaths but also incidents, hostages and injuries from terrorism, weighted over a five-year period.”

Based on the 2023 report, the Philippines recorded its lowest level of terrorism on record. Twenty incidents, 18 fatalities, and 38 injuries related to terrorism were reported in the Philippines.

“Despite remaining the second most impacted country in the region, the Philippines recorded its lowest level of terrorism since the inception of the GTI,” the report said.

“It had 20 attacks and 18 deaths occur in 2022, a fall of 68 and 65 percent respectively when compared to the year prior,” it added.

Sought for comments, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar attributed these developments to military efforts against violent extremism.

“Our PCVE (prevent and counter violent extremism) framework, which is community-based and proactive, is effective in addressing violent extremism,” Aguilar told GMA News Online in a message.

“With our firm resolve to address it, we have been receiving surrenderees from various local terror groups for years now,” he added.

GMA News Online also sought comments from the Department of National Defence and the National Security Council on the matter, but they have yet to respond as of posting time.

Eight countries in Asia-Pacific improved in 2022, while three deteriorated, which resulted in the impact of terrorism falling in the Asia-Pacific region for the fourth consecutive year, according to the GTI report.

“Myanmar, Japan and Indonesia were the only countries in the region to record a deterioration in the impact of terrorism over the past year,” it said.

“Overall, the region improved by nine percent within the last year, the fifth largest improvement of all the regions in 2022. The average impact of terrorism in the region is now at its lowest level since 2013,’ it added.

Myanmar, the most impacted country by terrorism, reported 755 attacks and 415 deaths in 2022, down by six percent in attacks and 27 percent in deaths compared to last year.

Japan recorded the largest deterioration in GTI score in the region, the country’s first such result since 2019.

“However, this was from a low base, with Japan’s only attack and death being the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in July 2022,” the report said.

Indonesia recorded the lowest number of attacks since 2014, with seven attacks resulting in 25 deaths, which are 56 percent lower in attacks, but the deaths rose by one when compared to last year.

“Attacks in Indonesia are now at their most lethal, with an average of 3.6 deaths per attack, compared with 1.5 deaths per attack in 2021,” the report said.

Globally, Afghanistan is the most affected country by terrorism with a score of 8.822 or “very high impact”, followed by Burkina Faso, Somalia, Mali, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Niger.

Islamic State and its affiliate groups were the deadliest terrorist group of 2022 with around 2,000 deaths attributed to them.

“The number of deaths attributed to it has remained roughly the same, at about 2,000 deaths per year since 2019, although a 16 percent improvement was recorded in 2022,” the report said.

IS is a Sunni extremist group which formed as an Al-Qaeda affiliate group in Iraq and Syria in 1999.

Aside from IS, included in the “four most deadliest terrorist groups in 2022” were Al-Shabaab in East Africa, Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in Pakistan, and Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) in Africa. 

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