The State of Philippine Media, under Duterte

IN the last 34 months under President Rodrigo R. Duterte, cases and incidents of attacks and threats on the Philippine media continue relentlessly, with hardly any major efforts at investigation or solution by responsible state agencies.

To mark World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday, May 3, the “Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network” released its third semestral report on The State of Philippine Media under the Duterte Administration.

The Network is composed of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Philippine Press Institute (PPI), MindaNews, and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ).

From its second report released on Nov. 23, 2018 — the ninth anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre — the latest report shows:

* An increase in the number of cases of “Killings, Attacks, and Threats” from 99 cases/incidents to 128 cases/incidents, across media platforms across the nation, in the last six months;

* A significant increase — from six to 16 cases — in the number of incidents of intimidation, including “red-tagging,” visits by police teams to the offices of certain media agencies, and the exposure of independent media organizations and their officers and staff in the so-called “associational matrix” of an “oust-Duterte plot”;

* A significant increase in the number of threats and harassment of online news organizations from 30 to 50.

* A significant increase — from 10 to 16 cases — in the number of DDoS attacks on alternative media sites; and

* An unchanged number of 12 journalists killed from June 30, 2016 to October 30, 2018, under the Duterte administration.

By gender/entity, the attacks had targeted 66 males and 33 females, and 29 media organizations.

By medium, of the 128 cases/incidents of attacks and threats on the press, online has shot to top spot with 50 cases, followed by radio with 36, and print with 25, television with 13, multimedia with 3, and photojournalism, 1.

By region of the country, from 41 cases/incidents of attacks and threats in November 2018, media agencies in the National Capital Region or Metro Manila recorded 63 cases by April 30, 2019. Metro Manila’s media has retained this dubious record as No. 1, by number of cases of attacks and threats,since 2014.

By island group, the 128 total cases include 89 cases recorded in Luzon, 26 in Mindanao, and 13 in the Visayas.

By alleged perpetrator or suspect, nearly half or 60 of the cases involved state agents or public officials.

They include 16 local government officials and employees; 14 national government offices and officials; 11 officers of the Philippine National Police; seven officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; three officers of the Presidential Security Group; two cases each involving, ironically, an official of the Presidential Special Task Force on Media Killings (PTFOMS) and of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency; and one case involving the director of the Philippine Information Agency.

The infographics for this report were produced by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), with research by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP). — PCIJ, 3 May 2019
Read the first two reports of the Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network here:

Speak Truth to Power, Keep Power in Check

THE STATE OF PHILIPPINE MEDIA: Relentless Attacks and Threats Online, On Ground, Across the Nation

Case Files: The 12 Journalists Killed Under the Duterte Administration