SAYS PALACE ‘Press freedom alive in RP’


By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:56:00 10/25/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Cerge Remonde on Saturday played down the drop of the Philippines in the worldwide press freedom index of an international media watchdog, saying it was a matter of perception.

Nonetheless, Remonde, chief of the Presidential Management Staff, said he was “saddened” by the drop in ranking, and added that the government would take steps to “improve our ranking.”

“But if you think hard about it, this is more perception than reality,” he said over the government-run Radyo ng Bayan.

If the watchdog were closely monitoring the TV and radio networks and newspapers, it would discover that the Philippine press was “very lively, aggressive and free,” Remonde said.

“Not a day goes by without the media bashing the government. It’s being criticized rightfully or wrongfully here in the Philippines,” he said.

The Philippines dropped several notches in the Reporters Without Borders’ Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index for 2008. From 128th last year, the country plummeted to 142nd this year in the index of press freedom in 173 countries.

The index measures the state of press freedom in the world. It shows the degree of freedom that journalists and news organizations enjoy in a country, and the actions taken by the authorities to respect this freedom, the group said.

The watchdog blamed corruption as among the main reasons for the poor ranking of countries, saying this “eats away at democracies.”

Iceland, Luxembourg, and Norway topped the list, all tying for first place. Turkmenistan (171st), North Korea (172nd), and Eritrea (173rd), on the other hand, were at the bottom.

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My Take:

A classic example of a liar who believes his own lies and sees it as the absolute truth.  He even failed to mention the number of killings of journalists in the country.  Tsk.

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