Media Security Working Group “Essential to Protect Press Freedom” – Duterte

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MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Task Force on Media Safety plays a “crucial role” in protecting the country’s press freedom, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday as he greeted its members on the occasion of his fifth birthday.

“The task force plays a crucial role in safeguarding press freedom which is vital in a country’s vibrant democracy,” Duterte said in a video message.

“It also helps to ensure that the rights and well-being of the press are well protected and respected,” he added.

Duterte also hoped that the members of the working group will continue to fulfill their “mandate with the most excellence and commitment”.

Recently, presidential spokesman Harry Roque downplayed threats to the country’s press freedom, saying there was no censorship.

Roque’s statement came after journalist Maria Ressa, also managing director of digital media Rappler, won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to protect press freedom and free speech in the Philippines.

In 2020, the Philippines ranked seventh out of 12 countries considered most dangerous for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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