Palace disputes media groups: Killings have gone down in PH
Malacañang disagreed on the pronouncement of various media organizatons on Thursday that the practice of journalism in the country became a “more dangerous endeavor” under the Duterte administration.
“I dispute that po kasi pagdating sa patayan bumababa po talaga ang patayan sa Pilipinas at bumababa po ang ranggo ng Pilipinas doon sa mga listahan ng most dangerous places in the world for journalists,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
“Let’s give credit where it is due,” he added.
Roque, however, did not specify which media watchdog came out with the report that showed the Philippines’ ranking as the most dangerous place for journalists has gone down.
In a joint report released in observance of the World Press Freedom Day, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Philippine Press Institute (PPI), and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) said a total of 85 cases of attacks against the media have been recorded since July 2016, “far exceeding” those recorded under four presidents before Duterte.
The media groups noted the attacks “have made the practice of journalism an even more dangerous endeavor under Duterte.”
Even the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has earlier said that Iraq and the Philippines are the deadliest places for journalists.
Roque said he would clarify with the four media groups about their definition of attacks.
“Hindi ko po alam kung anong classification ang ibig sabihin ng attacks. Baka naman pati verbal attacks kasama diyan. So hindi ko po talaga alam anong attacks ang ibig sabihin nila. Let me clarify what they mean by that,” he said.
Roque, who is also the presidential adviser on human rights, likewise condemned the killing of Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura in Gattaran town in Cagayan, and radio broadcaster Edmund Sestoso in Dumaguete.
“Kinondena po natin lahat ang patayan na ‘yan at sinisiguro ko naman po na ang gobyerno po ay gumagawa ng hakbang para tuparin ang kanyang responsibilidad,” he said.
“Iimbestigahan po natin ‘yan, lilitisin, at paparusahan ang mga pumapatay,” he added.
The Palace official further said the Duterte administration was not ignoring even the past cases of media killings in the Philippines.
“Hindi po natin binabaon sa limot yung mga namatay na mamahayag at ang paninindigan po talaga natin ay magkakaroon po talaga ng puspusang paglilitis at talagang paparushan ang pumamapatay sa lahat lalung-lalo na po sa pumapatay sa media at mga taong mga nananmapalataya,” he said. /kga
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