MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday said that it was through the efforts of the government under the Duterte administration that stressed the need to safeguard Filipino media workers.
Secretary Andnar cited how the creation of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) pivoted the country’s attention to making sure that democracy remains vibrant.
“Pagdating po sa polisiya, maiiwan po ni Presidente Duterte sa PCOO ang PTFoMS na naging dahilan na mabilis yung pagresolve ng kaso ng Maguindanao Massacre, ganun din po ang pagkaalis ng ating bansa among the top 5 most dangerous countries for journalists dahil napabilis yung decision ng Maguindanao Massacre [When it comes to policy, one legacy the President Duterte will be leaving for PCOO is the creation of the PTFoMS, which was one of the reason that Maguindanao Massacre case was resolved. We were also out from being among the the top 5 most dangerous countries for journalist because we facilitated the decision of the said case],” he said in a interview.
“Naprotektahan po at nabigyang pansin ang ating media workers na threatened [We were able to protect and give attention to our media workers who are being threatened],” he said.
The infamous attack killed 58 people, including 32 journalists on November 23, 2009, placing the Philippines among the top 5 deadliest countries for journalists according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Global Impunity Index.
In 2018, the Philippines is out of the top five most dangerous countries for journalists, according to the annual report of media freedom organization, Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
The CPJ also released its annual report in 2020 showing that the Philippines has improved in campaigning against impunity. The country was booted out among the top 5 deadliest countries for journalists according to its Global Impunity Index.
Secretary Andanar also said that the PCOO is not yet giving up on the legislation of the Media Workers Welfare Bill which is still pending at the Senate.
“We are hoping that this will be passed into law before the term ends,” he said.