Philippines

Philippines

Duterte’s attacks on press freedom

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Shortly before being sworn in as president in June 2016, Rodrigo Duterte cryptically said: “Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch. Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong." It was a grim warning. Four journalists were killed in the Philippines in 2017, making it Asia’s deadliest country for the media. Private militias, often hired by local politicians, silence journalists with complete impunity. The government has meanwhile developed several methods for pressuring and silencing journalists who criticize Duterte’s notorious “war on drugs.” In March 2017, the quick-tempered president lambasted the “sons of whore journalists” at the Daily Philippines Inquirer, the country’s leading daily, and at the biggest TV network, ABS-CBN. In January 2018, the authorities revoked the license of the leading news website, Rappler, which appealed the decision.

133
in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

-6

127 in 2017

Global score

+1.45

41.08 in 2017

Contacts

  • 2
    journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2018
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