The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) criticized on Sunday the biased and contradicting year-end reports issued by so-called media watchdogs that portrayed Philippine press freedom in a bad light.
In the “2020 Round-up” released by the French-based Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres or RSF), the group claimed that at least three Filipino journalists were killed this year on account of their work. On the other hand, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that the Philippine government “have fallen short” in protecting media workers.
“This is a clear example of a terribly biased observation by so-called international media watchdogs that do not actually contribute- in both nominal and moral terms – in the global campaign to safeguard press freedom.,” PTFoMS Executive Director Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco said.
According to PTFoMS, only one journalist, Rex Pepino, was actually killed in the line of duty this year. Reporter turned politician Jobert Bercasio was probably killed due to his political rhetoric while Virgilio Maganes was no longer working as a journalist at the time he was shot dead.
The task force said that the government has already identified and filed charges against some suspects in the slaying of Pepino, and the cases of Bercasio and Maganes are nearing resolution.
Also, there were more journalists killed during the two previous administrations than in the present administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. SOVEREIGNPH