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Philippines drops to 147th place in World Press Freedom Index

The Philippines dropped nine spots to place 147th out of 180 countries in this year's World Press Freedom Index.

The index, compiled by global press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), assesses the state of journalism in each nation using five indicators: the political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context, and security.

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."

The Philippines was ranked 138 in last year's index.

The Philippines is ranked one step above Hong Kong, which fell 60 spots to 148th place in what the RSF described as "the biggest downfall of the year," due to "the consistent attacks on freedom of the press and the slow disappearance of the rule of law in Hong Kong," the organization's Taiwan-based East Asia bureau Cedric Alviani told Agence France-Presse. — BM, GMA News