Sun. Jun 20th, 2021

MANILA — Any advocacy aimed at defending the freedom of the press has President Rodrigo Duterte’s support, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

This was the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo a year after the British embassy in Manila launched a media freedom campaign.

“We’re for that. The President has always emphasized that we have the right to express ourselves,” Panelo told Palace reporters.

The campaign in support of media freedom was launched by the British government in February 2019 not only in the Philippines but also in other parts of the world.

Panelo said Duterte, like the British government, wants every Filipino to enjoy the right to dissent and free speech.

Duterte also respects the freedom of the press, he said.

“We have the right to peaceful assembly and express our grievances. This is one President (who) will always encourage dissent and freedom of expression, as well as of the press,” Panelo said.

United Kingdom Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, at a recent reception in his residence, said his office coordinated with Philippine officials, media organizations, and the academe and schools in the past year to uphold media freedom in the country.

Pruce also noted that the embassy held caravans and media tours for a better understanding of the stakeholders’ sentiments on the Philippines’ media freedom.

During an engagement with United Nations-based media in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said press freedom in the Philippines is “very much alive.”

Andanar said the Duterte administration was able to create an “enabling media environment” and a “safe space for journalists.” (PNA)

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