Majority of Pinoys agree that it can be dangerous to publish anything critical of the government…even if they speak of the truth. This is according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The report revealed that 65% of Filipinos agreed with the statement, “It is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth.” Meanwhile, 16% disagreed with the statement while 18% were undecided. The highest number of those who agree with the statement hail from Mindanao at +58, followed by Visayas at +55, Balance of Luzon at +47, and Metro Manila at +30.
The survey was conducted last November 20-25, 2020 using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 600 in Balance Luzon and 300 each in Metro Manila, Visayas, and Mindanao. The sampling error margins are ±2.5% for national percentages, ±4% for Balance Luzon, and ±6% for Metro Manila, the Visayas, and Mindanao.
To refresh your memory, since the start of the Duterte administration, two media entities that are known to publish stories that criticize the government have suffered setbacks. Philippine media giant, ABS-CBN’s bid to renew its franchise has been junked by lawmakers. Online news site Rappler.com’s license was revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In response to the survey, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told the press that no one should be afraid to speak up against the Duterte administration. He also denied that the government was behind the alleged harassment of the aforementioned media entities.
Given how large media entities and their employees have been treated quite harshly amid the ongoing pandemic, it seems that there is a basis for Filipinos to think that way.