The Philippines is among the countries most affected by terrorism last year, a new report said, as it noted a relapse in the number of deaths due to local terrorist acts.
The country ranked 10th in the latest "Global Terrorism Index" report released by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace.
The Philippines was given a score of 6.8 points in the index, which the report said is "based on a unique scoring system to account for the relative impact of incidents in the year."
A total of 120 fatalities and 213 injuries due to 125 incidents recorded in the Philippines in 2011, the report noted.
Although the number of fatalities is lower than the 212 recorded in 2003, this is a jump from a minimum of 19 deaths in 2006.
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"Terrorism in the Philippines is intrinsically tied with nationalist or separatist claims by people living in provinces in southern Philippines," the report noted.
This, as it claimed that attacks are "primarily carried out by the New People's Army, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Abu Sayyaf Group."
The government has recently signed a framework peace agreement with the MILF, but it is still struggling to stifle attacks from a breakaway group known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
In other news: PH rises in 'corruption perception' rankings
"Excluding private citizens and property, businesses and the
government were most likely targets for terrorists in Philippines," the report said.
Among Asian countries, it is the second country worst hit by terrorism, following Thailand which ranked 8th in the global list.
"The global impact of terrorism increased significantly from 2002 to 2007. It reached its peak in 2007 and has since plateaued," the report said.
Iraq topped the list of terrorism-affected countries.
It was followed by Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Thailand and Russia.
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The Philippines accounted for 4 percent of the global total of terrorist incidents in 2011.
The report also noted that the country's performance on the indicators is "mixed with it performing relatively well in the Acceptance of the Rights of Others and High Levels of Education indicators..."
"It underperforms in the other indicators with the poorest being Low Levels of Corruption where it is amongst the most corrupt in the world," the report added.
The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …