MANILA - The Philippines dropped two notches to 149th place among 180 countries in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index released by the France-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
The annual index showed that eight journalists were killed in the Philippines in 2013, compared to 10 in Syria, seven in Pakistan, and seven in Somalia.
Last year, the Philippines was ranked 147th in the index.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines earlier scored the administration of President Benigno Aquino for its alleged apathy towards media killings.
This was after three journalists were killed in a span of two weeks including broadcasters Joas Dignos (November 29). Michael Milo (December 7) and Rogelio Butalid (December 11). The three were the 19th, 20th and 21st killed since Aquino came to office and the 159th, 160th and 161st since the Philippines became a "democracy" again.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda has said there is a need to investigate the incidents and determine the motivation of the killings.
The Palace said there is already a task force devoted to investigating media killings.