Philippines Senator accuses media of poor reporting on government policy

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) is strongly criticizing the recent allegations made by a Philippines’ senator, regarding the media’s reporting of the government’s anti-drug campaign. The IFJ and NUJP urge the government to support the media in reporting on all government policies.

On Monday, August 22, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano alleged that the Philippines’ media were exaggerating the number of killings, as part of the government’s anti-drug campaign and trying to negatively impact on the campaign. In his allegations, Senator Cayetano called out ABS-CBN and the Philippine Daily Inquirer accusing them of negatively reporting on the administration for headlining the growing outrage of the killings as well as broadcasting a daily ‘kill list’.

The NUJP strongly disputed the claims and allegations made by Senator Cayetano, noting that on August 18, Philippines National Police (PNP) director general Ronald dela Rosa had presented statistics, which the media were using in their reporting.

Ryan Rosauro, NUJP chairperson said: “Such allegations, without any proof, not only serve to unjustly cast a pall of suspicion over the Philippine media and, in particular, the journalists who toil on the front lines but, much worse, put lives in danger, not only should those behind the growing plague of drug-related murders see it fit to include us as targets, but also by providing a convenient cover for those who would silence an independent press and have already claimed a horrendous toll of more than 170 from our profession’s ranks since 1986.”

The IFJ said: “The allegations made by Senator Cayetano serve to only create a divide between the Philippine people and the media. The media is an important member of the Philippines’ society, serving as the fourth pillar of the country’s democracy and a watchdog. The media has a right and responsibility to report on all government policies and how they are implemented across the country.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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