News Release

Statement of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on the US State Department’s press statement on the press freedom in the Philippines

We would like to reiterate that the freedom of the press and freedom of speech continue to remain vibrant and strong in the Philippines despite how some people choose to paint the independent and impartial decision of the court on the cyber libel case against Ms. Maria Ressa and Mr. Reynaldo Santos Jr. as a suppression of media freedom, when in reality, it is a case of accountability.

The Duterte Administration has constantly been one with the United States and the international community towards upholding and valuing our long shared commitment to freedoms of the press and of speech, deeply conscious that having a plurality of voices — including critical ones — is an essential requirement for the continued functioning of any democratic country.

In this regard, there should be no cause for concern that the Philippine government is acting in any way to the contrary. However, one must not forget that these apparent exercisable rights and freedoms come with obligations and responsibilities, and also with due regard to other people’s rights and freedoms.