The Philippines has climbed 14 spots higher in this year's World Press Freedom Index, placing 132nd out of 180 countries.
According to global press watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF), since the Duterte administration, the Philippine media is “extremely vibrant despite the government’s targeted attacks and constant harassment… of journalists and media outlets that are too critical.”
The RSF also observed that there seems to be less media attacks in the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as compared to the previous one.
Compared to the Duterte administration, RSF said Marcos' policy towards the press “is more consensual.”
RSF highlighted the acquittal of Nobel laureate and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and the Rappler Holdings Corporation of four tax evasion charges that were filed under the Duterte administration as an “encouraging development.”
As to safety, RSF said the Philippines “is one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists,” considering the gruesome Maguindanao massacre in 2009 that left 58 people dead, including 32 members of the media.
Though it said that many journalists are still targets of threats and lawsuits in the regional level, RSF noted that there were no journalists and media workers killed since January 1, 2023 although two journalists were reportedly detained. —KBK, GMA Integrated News