The head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said the government will continue to respect media freedom in the country as the Philippines joins the international community in observing World Press Freedom Day.
“Asahan niyo po na patuloy na irerespeto ng Duterte administration ang press freedom sa bansa, taliwas sa mga alegasyon ng iilan (Rest assured that the Duterte administration will continue to respect media freedom in the Philippines contrary to the allegations of some groups),” Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement Friday.
Among the efforts to prove this is the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security or PTFoMS, approved and signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on the first month of his term, Andanar said.
The PTFoMS was created through Administration Order 01 to address media killings and harassments.
For the part of the PCOO, he said the agency would continue campaigning against disinformation and the proliferation of fake news.
“Tayo naman po ay kaisa ng lahat ng mediamen sa bansa at sa buong mundo sa pagsusulong at pangangalaga sa karapatan sa press freedom (We are one with our fellow mediamen, both local and foreign, in pursuing and protecting press freedom),” he added.
World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993.
In his message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored that a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development, and human rights.
“No democracy is complete without access to transparent and reliable information. It is the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions, holding leaders accountable and speaking truth to power,” he said. (PNA)