PH improves ranking in countries with worst impunity for journalist murders
The Philippines is no longer one of the top five worst countries for journalists, according to international watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) report.
Based on the Global Impunity Index 2020 report of the CPJ, the top five countries are Somalia, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. The Philippines ranks seventh.
The CPJ explained that the change in the ranking of the Philippines is attributed to the fact that that the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre “no longer falls into the 10-year time frame.” It can be recalled that the Ampatuan brothers Datu Andal Jr., Zaldy, and Anwar Sr. were convicted in December 2019 over the 2009 murder of 58 people, including at least 30 journalists.
Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Exec. Dir. Joel Egco considered the news as a “welcome development” for the country and attributed it to government and stakeholders’ efforts to protect the country’s media.
“Bagama’t naroon pa rin tayo sa list, tayo po ay tinagurian na may pinaka malaking lundag o improvement. The biggest mover ang tawag po riyan ng CPJ. Ibig sabihin, kung dati po, tayo ay nasa number 5 tayo, ngayon ay nasa number 7 tayo. (Although we are still in the list, we are considered as the one with the biggest jump or improvement. The CPJ calls it the ‘biggest mover’. This means we moved from number 5 to number seven),” Egco reported.
PTFoMS Chairman and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said they will continue to be “steadfast” in their “commitment to protect and promote media security by all means legally possible, relentless in the face of adversity.”
PTFoMS Co-Chair and Communications Sectary Martin Andanar assured that the current administration “will always uphold freedom of speech and expression.”
“There is no other way to interpret this great improvement but to think that we are on the right track and, at the same time, that we should do more,” Andanar added.
The National Press Club of the Philippines welcomed the report, saying that they feel that they “have been part of the co-efforts by all the stakeholders to improve the media situation in the Philippines.”
“Disappointed pa nga kami riyan kasi obviously kung hindi lang nila pinakikinggan palagi ‘yung ibang mga grupo ng media na wala namang ginawa kundi wakwakin lang ang imahe ng Pilipinas, I believe na mas mataas dapat ang ranking ng Pilipinas diyan (We were even disappointed because obviously, if they have not always listened to other media groups who did nothing but besmirch the image of the country, I believe we could have ranked higher),” National Press Club Pres. Paul Gutierrez said. – Report from Mela Lesmoras / ptvnews.ph