Most journalists’ deaths in PH not jobrelated: Palace

MANILA MalacaAang said most of the killings of journalists in the country are not related to their line of work as media practitioners.

In a press briefing in MalacaAang on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said issues that hound members of the media are personal and do not involve their profession.

"From what I gather from those who have been killed, may kinalaman sa personal na pamumuhay nila (it's something to do with their personal lives), nothing to do with journalism. Meron din(There are), one or two, pero hindi iyong (but not), as a rule," Panelo said.

Panelo was reacting to a report from the South East Asia Media Freedom, showing the Philippines as among the worst countries for journalists in Southeast Asia due to impunity, threat to their safety and censorship.

"For instance sinasabi nila na ni (Maria) Ressa (of Rappler) na demanda, eh iyon namang mga iyon eh nothing to do with freedom of expression eh (they cite Maria Ressa's case, that has nothing to do with freedom of expression).You violate a law you cannot be immune from prosecution and, binibigyan naman siya ng due process at nakalabas nga siya eh (she is being given due process, she even went out on bail)," Panelo said.

In a statement Thursday, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said the Philippines has been removed from the top five most dangerous countries for journalists in 2018 in the annual report of media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders.

Andanar attributed the delisting to President Rodrigo R. Duterte's concern to the country's members of the Fourth Estate.

Andanar said Duterte's first Administrative Order was the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS).

He said the PTFoMS' creation has resulted in the relentless pursuit of justice for journalists who were killed in the exercise of their duty and the security of those media men and women who have been harassed and threatened. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency