President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, November 7, said killing of journalists is “hideous and wrong” and assured to uphold freedom of the press and expression in the country under his leadership.
In a report in the state-owned Philippine News Agency (PNA), President Duterte in his speech at the induction of new officers of the National Press Club (NPC) officers, emphasized the role of the media as the Fourth Estate which fights abuses in government.
”Here in our country, press freedom is thriving, it’s working,” President Duterte said before the oath-taking of the NPC officers led by its president Paul Gutierrez at Malacanang Palace.
”The problem here in our country is the continued killings of media people. Of course, by itself, this (is) fundamentally hideous and wrong,” he said.
Threats to media come with the job of journalists because of their adversarial role.
”Remember that freedom of press (is) mostly against establishment, the state and its abuses,” the President said.
The Philippines ranks third in the world in terms of journalists killed in the line of duty.
President Duterte’s first administrative order was the creation of presidential task force that will protect members of the media from violations of their right to life, liberty and security.
Under the Administrative Order No. 01 he signed last October 11, the Duterte administration declares as a matter of policy that all of the forms of political violence and abuses of power, whether by agents or elements of the State or of non-State forces against the members of the so-called Fourth Estate must stop.