What oppression? Guevarra: PH press ‘freest’ in Southeast Asia
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday (April 17) refuted the claims of a foreign mission that press freedom in the country is under attack.
“Contrary to the opinion of the visiting foreign journalists, I believe that the Philippine press is the freest in the region,” he said.
“Anyone can criticize or say anything against the government without fear of retaliation,” he added.
Recently, visiting officials of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) declared that: “The oppressive working environment for journalists in the Philippines is alarming.”
During their visit in the country, the CPJ went to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to air its concern over the charges Rappler executive editor Maria Ressa.
Guevarra assured “Maria Ressa’s case is not reflective of the overall situation.”
“Her cases arose from a violation of our Securities Code, which led to other cases such as tax evasion and anti-dummy charges,” he pointed out.
“Her cyber libel case was initiated by a private individual, not by the government,” he added.