US envoy vows continued support to PH efforts to stop media killings
MANILA, Philippines–US Ambassador Philip Goldberg is concerned for the safety of Philippine journalists as well as the lack of convictions in journalists’ murder cases.
According to the US embassy in Manila, Goldberg issued these statements on Wednesday, when he met with civil society organizations, including several media groups “to learn more about the challenges facing members of the media in the Philippines, including extra-judicial killings, media killings and also to discuss what could be done to address these very important issues.”
The US embassy said Goldberg “expressed concern for the safety of media professionals and the lack of convictions for recent murders in the Philippines.”
“Reemphasizing freedom of the press as a fundamental human right, Ambassador Goldberg reiterated the United States government’s support of an open media environment where journalists are free to work safely without the fear of being threatened or killed,” the embassy statement said.
According to the embassy, media killings continue in the country “and impunity for these crimes has remained a serious issue.”
It quoted a Human Rights Watch report that 12 journalists were killed in the Philippines last year.
And while it said there has been a downward trend in media killings, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked the Philippines third after Iraq and Somalia, in its impunity index which has been tracking worst records for solving murders of journalists.
The embassy said the US “continues to partner with the Philippine government to strengthen the judicial system, build the capacity of law enforcement to investigate crimes and address impunity, and train journalists in media ethics and standards.”
Among the media groups that Goldberg met were the Confederation of ASEAN Journalists, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, the National Press Club, Kapisanan ng Brodkaster Pilipinas, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.
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