The Social Weather Stations (SWS) released its National Mobile Phone Survey showing half of adult Filipinos agreeing with the statement, “It is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth.”
Surveys, as we often said, reflect the opinions of the respondents at the time the data were gathered. This SWS survey, we understand, was conducted a week (July 3 to 6) before the House of Representatives made their decision on the ABS-CBN broadcast franchise on July 10.
Information and news dominating the traditional and social media are therefore about the congressional hearings on the broadcast franchise application of the network. This might have impressed upon the minds of the respondents who participated in the survey.
Be that as it may, the Duterte Administration continues to respect the freedom of the speech and the freedom of the press in the country. No single libel case has been filed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against the political opposition. Media remains alert and vibrant in their reportage of the government and the actions of officials.