STATEMENT OF VICE PRESIDENT LENI ROBREDO ON WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY
Today as we observe World Press Freedom Day, let us take the time to honor the courage and commitment of journalists in the Philippines and abroad, who endure harassment, persecution, and violence as they remain steadfast in their roles of pursuing the truth and holding power accountable. It remains the task of leaders and governments everywhere to respect and uphold freedom of the press, and to extend every protection to the women and men who must risk their lives, freedom, and reputations to bring to public awareness the truth behind events.
Democracy cannot survive, much less flourish, without a free press that works to keep citizens informed by equipping them with a common, verifiable baseline of fact on issues pertinent to society and governance. And in this age of fake news and digital disinformation, where gaslighting has become a frequent tactic to evade accountability, and blatant falsehood has become the common currency in political discourse, this role has become even more imperative.
Our capacity to successfully overcome the urgent challenges of our time – including the current pandemic – depends on an accurate, and truthful, appreciation of both the issues that confront us and the solutions that are available. Today, let us renew our determination to support a free press that makes such an appreciation possible.