SWS: Most Pinoys find freedom of speech 'very strong' under Duterte


Posted at Aug 03 2019 07:10 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2019 12:59 AM

But half of Pinoys believe printing, broadcasting anything critical vs gov’t ‘dangerous’

MANILA—Nearly 3 out of 5 Filipinos believe that they can speak "openly and without fear" even if it is against government, according to the latest survey released by Social Weather Stations (SWS) Saturday.

The pollster found that 59 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement: "I can say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration."

Meanwhile, 18 percent disagreed and 23 percent were undecided.

This yielded a net agreement score of plus-41, classified by SWS as "very strong." It was 18 points above the "moderate" plus-23 net score recorded in December 2018.

In the same survey, SWS found that 51 percent of Pinoys agreed that printing or broadcasting anything critical of the administration is "dangerous . . . even if it is the truth." Meanwhile, 20 percent believe otherwise, and 29 percent were undecided.

Despite this, 67 percent of those surveyed affirmed that "mass media in the Philippines have freedom of speech, of expression and of press," while 10 percent disagreed and 23 percent were undecided.

SWS conducted the survey from June 22 to 26, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide.

Media watchdog Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) in 2018 said Filipino journalists continued to face online harassment, violence and various threats.