Political risk rising in Philippines after De Lima arrest: BMI Research

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2017 06:29 PM

PH political risk score downgraded

MANILA - A global ratings agency said Monday it downgraded the Philippines' political risk rating, citing heightened instability following the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima, a high-profile critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

BMI Research, a unit of debt-watcher Fitch Ratings, said it lowered the short-term political risk rating on the country to 63.5 from 64.6.
 
The ratings agency also attributed the lower score to the removal of four senators who actively supported the Liberal Party from their committee chairmanships.
 
"We believe that the arrest of Philippine Senator Leila De Lima on drug-related charges on Feb. 24 and the ouster of four other members from the senate on Feb. 27 are likely to raise the risk of political instability in the country," BMI Research said in its latest political risk analysis on the Philippines titled "More Political Infighting and Uncertainty to Come." 

The "episode could be politically motivated, potentially leading to more political infighting and uncertainty over the coming quarters," it said.
 
The ratings action also came after repeated criticism from the Catholic Church of Duterte's drug war.