51% agree: Airing, printing gov’t criticism dangerous, even if true
Half of Filipino adults believe printing or broadcasting anything ‘’critical of the government,’’ even if it is the truth, is dangerous.
This was according to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey taken from July 3 to 6, involving 1,555 respondents nationwide, using mobile phone and computer-assisted interviews.
Fifty-one percent of the respondents agreed with the statement: “It is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration even if it is the truth.”
Thirty percent disagreed while 18 percent were undecided, for a net agreement (percent agree minus percent disagree) of “moderate” +21. In June last year, the last time an SWS survey was held on the same statement, the net agreement was “strong” at +31.
ABS-CBN, terror law
The survey was conducted during the period leading to the much-anticipated decision of the House legislative franchise committee on the fate of ABS-CBN. In a 70-11 vote on July 10, the committee junked the beleaguered network’s application for a new 25-year license.
On July 3, the first day of the survey, President Duterte signed into law the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, whose constitutionality has since been challenged in the Supreme Court by 26 petitions so far.
The survey also found that 56 percent of Filipinos considered the nonrenewal of the ABS-CBN franchise as a major blow to press freedom in the country.
The net agreement to the statement was higher among those who saw the nonrenewal as a press freedom concern (+33), compared to those who did not think so (+19) and those who were undecided (-2), the pollster said.
While net agreement with the statement fell, slightly more people strongly agree with it now, SWS said.
Between June last year and July this year, the proportion of those who strongly agree rose from 16 percent to 23 percent, while those who somewhat agree fell from 35 percent to 27 percent.
Meanwhile, the percentage of those who strongly disagreed with the statement went up from 8 percent to 17 percent, while those who somewhat disagreed increased from 12 percent to 14 percent. The proportion of undecided went down from 29 percent to 18 percent.
By geographical area, net agreement with the statement was classified as “strong” both in Mindanao (+28) and in Visayas (+26).
It was “moderate” +16 in both Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.
SWS also found the net agreement with the statement to be “moderate” among men and women, at +20 and +22, respectively.
Net agreement was also stronger among respondents 35 to 44 years old compared to other age groups, and among the less educated compared to those with higher educational background.
The survey had a sampling margin of error of plus-minus 2 percent for national percentages, plus-minus 6 percent for Metro Manila, and plus-minus 5 percent for Luzon outside Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao. —Inquirer Research
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