On World Press Freedom Day, Palace says it supports ‘free exercise’ of journalism

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 03 2019 07:07 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo (right) assured media practitioners in the country that the government does “not condone media violence and repression of information.” File/Karl Norman Alonzo, Presidential Photo

MANILA—Malacañang on Friday said it supports the “free exercise” of journalism in the Philippines as the world marks press freedom day.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo assured media practitioners in the country that “we do not condone media violence and repression of information.”

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte believes in the important role the press plays in our great democracy as he considers the fourth estate as our partners for genuine change,” he said in a statement.

“The Duterte administration assures members of the press that it will support them in the free exercise of their profession and in crafting accurate, fair and non-partisan reports for the Filipino people.”

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar assured that the government respects press freedom.

"Asahan niyo po na patuloy na irerespeto ng Duterte administration ang press freedom sa bansa taliwas sa mga alegasyon ng iilan," he said in a statement.

(Expect that the Duterte administration will continue to respect press freedom in the country contrary to the allegations of some.)

"Tayo naman po ay kaisa ng lahat ng mediamen sa bansa at sa buong mundo sa pagsusulong at pangangalaga sa karapatan sa press freedom," he added.

(We are one with all mediamen in the country and in the world in pushing and safeguarding the right to press freedom.)

Despite being touted as the country with the freest press in Asia, the Philippines dropped one spot in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index published by Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF, Reporters Without Borders).

Manila ranked 134th out of 180 countries with RSF citing the killing of 3 Philippine journalists in 2019, “most likely by agents working for local politicians, who can have reporters silenced with complete impunity.”

It also noted how the government “has developed several ways to pressure journalists who dare to be overly critical of the summary methods adopted” by the chief executive.