Australian academic calls Philippines ‘purgatory’ for poor

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Gill Boehringer
Human rights advocate Prof. Gill Boehringer

Citing rising inequality between the wealthy and not-so-wealthy, an Australian professor has called the Philippines a “purgatory for the poor”.

Prof. Gill Boehringer, a former Dean of Macquarie University Law School in Sydney turned human rights advocate, said in a statement released by Philippine human rights group Karapatan that “inequality in the country worsens, hunger and poverty continue at high rates, while lack of jobs and child labour remain significant problems.”

He said the Philippines’ “semi-feudal political-economic system… and state and corporate terror have made the Philippines a paradise for the wealthy and purgatory for the rest,” adding that “President Benigno Aquino III has failed to act to effectively prosecute and sanction human rights violators.”

In fact, the Philippines do indeed have a problem with wealth inequality. The country has the worst income distribution in ASEAN with a Gini coefficient of just 44.0, a high level of corruption, and 41 per cent of its urban population is living in slums.

Karapatan, launched under the regime of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is one of the largest human rights groups in the Philippines, having documented many cases of political killings and harassment in the country.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Human rights advocate Prof. Gill Boehringer

Citing rising inequality between the wealthy and not-so-wealthy, an Australian professor has called the Philippines a “purgatory for the poor”.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Gill Boehringer
Human rights advocate Prof. Gill Boehringer

Citing rising inequality between the wealthy and not-so-wealthy, an Australian professor has called the Philippines a “purgatory for the poor”.

Prof. Gill Boehringer, a former Dean of Macquarie University Law School in Sydney turned human rights advocate, said in a statement released by Philippine human rights group Karapatan that “inequality in the country worsens, hunger and poverty continue at high rates, while lack of jobs and child labour remain significant problems.”

He said the Philippines’ “semi-feudal political-economic system… and state and corporate terror have made the Philippines a paradise for the wealthy and purgatory for the rest,” adding that “President Benigno Aquino III has failed to act to effectively prosecute and sanction human rights violators.”

In fact, the Philippines do indeed have a problem with wealth inequality. The country has the worst income distribution in ASEAN with a Gini coefficient of just 44.0, a high level of corruption, and 41 per cent of its urban population is living in slums.

Karapatan, launched under the regime of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is one of the largest human rights groups in the Philippines, having documented many cases of political killings and harassment in the country.

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