MANILA— The Philippines is still the 7th most dangerous country for journalists worldwide, as several murders involving media workers remained unsolved, a report showed.
The country retained its rank last year, when it was based on the Global Impunity Index 2021 released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Thursday.
Somalia ranked first on the index, followed by Syria, Iraq, and South Sudan.
The countries are currently experiencing conflict and "weak judicial mechanisms," CPJ said, which impacts incidence of violence towards media workers there.
Meanwhile, CPJ noted that the Philippines still has 13 unsolved murders involving journalists. The index covers the period September 1, 2011, to August 31, 2021.
This is up by 2 from last year's 11 unsolved murders.
The methodology of CPJ’s Impunity Index involves the calculation of the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population from the said timeline.
"Only those nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. CPJ defines murder as a deliberate killing of a specific journalist in retaliation for the victim’s work," the watchdog explained.
The index also said that 278 journalists were murdered globally in the past 10 years. Of the cases, 226 or 81 percent remained unsolved.
“CPJ recorded complete impunity, meaning no one has been convicted in connection with the crime," the report read.
"No one has been held to account in 81 percent of journalist murders during the last 10 years."
Here are the top 12 countries considered most dangerous for journalists this year based on the index:
1. Somalia (25 unsolved murders)
2. Syria (21 unsolved murders)
3. Iraq (18 unsolved murders)
4. South Sudan (5 unsolved murders)
5. Afghanistan (17 unsolved murders)
6. Mexico (27 unsolved murders)
7. Philippines (13 unsolved murders)
8. Brazil (14 unsolved murders)
9. Pakistan (12 unsolved murders)
10. Russia (6 unsolved murders)
11. Bangladesh (6 unsolved murders)
12. India (20 unsolved murders)
The country last year was out of the top 5 in the index, 10 years after being in the said range.
In the past 6 years of the Duterte administration, the media have come under threat, with organizations shut down and some journalists barred from coverage.
Duterte, however, has said that press freedom "is vital in a nation’s vibrant democracy," despite accusations it has been under fire during his administration.
Duterte made the comment to mark the fifth anniversary of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security earlier this month, a body he created to end violence against journalists.