CMFR: Journalists in PH need to be bolder

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 20 2017 03:46 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2017 04:09 PM

MANILA- Journalists in the Philippines need to be "bolder" in their reporting even as the country has been listed as among the most dangerous for media practitioners, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) said.

Vergel Santos of the CMFR said journalists in the Philippines cannot be intimidated or pressured by the prevailing political climate.

"We cannot afford to be intimidated. We cannot afford to be pressured because if we do, we remiss in our basic, not only professional but constitutional duty," Santos told ANC Wednesday.

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The Philippines has been listed as the 5th most dangerous country for journalists this year by media freedom organization Reporters Without Borders.

War-torn Syria is deemed to be the most dangerous, followed by Mexico, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Santos noted that he has observed how the Philippine media has become intimidated or pressured in a way by the current administration.

"I can understand, I have observed that indeed the media had become rather intimidated or pressured by this government. It's easy to believe," he said.

"We need to be bolder. This calls for bolder reporting this time," he added.

Journalists were also reminded by Santos to be steadfast in their work, saying "what is in danger is the truth and the freedom."

"Truth can only be revealed in an atmosphere of freedom. And we lose that--we lose the freedom, we lose the truth," he said.