Palace downplays PH’s drop in world press freedom ranking
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday downplayed the Philippines’ decline in ranking in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index, saying the country is not in the “red list” of very bad press freedom situations, despite the ranking drop.
The Philippines placed 147th from 138th last year out of 180 countries in the ranking of the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontière (RSF) or Reporters Without Borders.
“Although the Philippines ranked 147th in this year’s index, Reporters Without Borders or RFS has acknowledged that the Philippine media are extremely vibrant,” acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said in a Palace briefing.
“In addition, it should be pointed out that the Philippines is not included in its category of countries in the so-called ‘red list’ which RSF says indicates very bad press freedom situations,” he added.
Andanar also noted that the Philippines is not included in the RSF’s 10 worst countries for press freedom.
He said the Presidential Task Force on Media Security will release a more comprehensive statement on the matter.
The Philippines has for the last six years been under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, an administration “marked by countless verbal attacks coupled with judicial harassment targeting any media deemed overly critical of the government,” RSF said in its country profile for the Philippines.
The RSF also noted that the Philippines is one of the deadliest countries for journalists, and impunity for media killings “is almost total.”