A free press reporting on the issues that interest us and shape our lives is a key building block of any rights-respecting society. Yet many countries including the Philippines, journalists face repression and attacks.
Since the Duterte administration came to power, it has threatened civil liberties on several fronts. Human rights groups have been increasingly undermined and vilified; government critics and activists have been harassed, arbitrarily detained, and killed; journalists and media organizations have been threatened and targeted with lawsuits.
President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly attacked ABS-CBN for allegedly failing to run his paid political advertisements during the 2016 elections, which he won.
ABS-CBN has produced numerous investigative reports highlighting extrajudicial executions committed as part of the government’s so-called “war on drugs.” Similarly, news website Rappler and Maria Ressa, who have also been critical of the anti-drug campaign in their reporting, are facing a string of lawsuits, including charges of tax evasion, cyber libel and foreign ownership.
Amnesty International calls on the Philippine government to cease its relentless efforts to muzzle journalists and media organizations, and to fulfil its obligations under domestic and international law to safeguard and respect the right to freedom of expression and media freedom.
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