President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday assured to uphold freedom of the press and expression in the country under his leadership.
In front of the newly-elected National Press Club (NPC) officers, President Duterte likened the press freedom in the Philippines to the United States where there is no pressure.
”Here in our country, press freedom is thriving, it’s working,” President Duterte said in his speech before the oath-taking of the NPC officers led by its president Paul Gutierrez at Malacanang Palace.
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.
”The problem here in our country is the continued killings of media people. Of course, by itself, this fundamentally hideous and wrong,” he said.
The President emphasized the role of the media as the fourth state which fights “the abuses of the first and second or third branches of government.”
”Remember that freedom of press mostly against establishment, the state and its abuses and that is why the fourth state is there to fight the abuses,” he added.
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.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said, on average, one journalist is killed every week around the world while the Committee to Protect Journalists reported that the Philippines ranks third in the world in terms of journalists killed in the line of duty. (PNA)