Palace: Duterte admin continues to respect free speech, press freedom
MANILA, Philippines — A day after the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released its latest poll results which showed that 51 percent of Filipinos think it’s dangerous to publish anything critical of the Duterte administration, Malacañang on Saturday said the current administration still respects free speech and freedom of the press.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, in a statement, added that the ongoing House hearings surrounding ABS-CBN’s franchise application, which happened at the time the survey was being conducted, might have influenced the poll’s results.
“Information and news dominating the traditional and social media are therefore about the congressional hearings on the broadcast franchise application of the network,” Roque said. “This might have impressed upon the minds of the respondents who participated in the survey.”
“Be that as it may, the Duterte Administration continues to respect the freedom of the speech and the freedom of the press in the country,” he added.
The latest survey released on Friday showed that half of Filipinos believe that it is dangerous to publish anything critical of the Duterte administration.
The survey was conducted last July 3 to 6, during the time the House Legislative Franchises Committee was tackling the ABS-CBN franchise issue.
On July 10, House lawmakers junked the network’s bid for a fresh franchise.
Roque added that not a single libel case has been filed by President Rodrigo Duterte against the political opposition.
“Media remains alert and vibrant in their reportage of the government and the actions of officials,” the Palace spokesman added.
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