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PHILIPPINES: UN critics join outrage over Duterte’s media attack on Rappler


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Rappler’s CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa says that the Philippine government spends a lot of effort to turn journalism into a crime which shouldn’t be the case. Video: Rappler

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Item: 10068

By David Robie
AUCKLAND (Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Centre): Three United Nations special rapporteurs have added their voice to the global protests this week over the President Rodrigo Durterte government bureaucracy’s attack on the independent online news website Rappler and a free press in the Philippines.

Rappler has been the latest media target for the administration’s wrath over a tenacious public interest watchdog that has been relentless in its coverage of the republic’s so-called “war on drugs” and state disinformation.

Some media freedom advocates claim that the Philippines is facing its worst free expression and security crisis since the Marcos dictatorship, with The New York Times denouncing the “ruthlessness” and “viciousness” of Duterte’s disdain for democracy.

The death toll in the extrajudicial spate of killings range between 3993 (official) and more than 12,000 since Duterte took office on June 30, 2016, according to Human Rights Watch.

Headlined “After killing spree, is a free press Mr Duterte’s next victim?”, the NY Times editorial said: “Even among that cast of illiberal leaders who rouse mobs with their ruthless policies and disdain for democratic protections, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines stands out for his viciousness.

Read the full report at Asia Pacific Report or Cafe Pacific

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About the authors

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David Robie

Professor, PMC Director

Professor David Robie is an author, journalist and media educator specialising in Asia-Pacific affairs.

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Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators.
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