KATAPPAT DISPUTES REPORT OF COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS-ASIA COORDINATOR
An official of the NGO - Kapatiran ng Tagapangalaga ng Pampubliko at Pribadong Ari-arian at Tao (KATAPPAT), Fernando Galot, condemned the declaration of Robert Dietz, Asia Coordiantor of the New York based - Committee to Protect Journalists describing the Philippines, along with Aghanistan, as Asia's most dangerous places for journalists. "It was such an illogical description considering that media personalities in the Philippines are freely moving aound day or night", remarked the official.
According to the report of Dietz, 55 journalists were killed worldwide, in direct connection to their work in 2006 and another 30 deaths were being invesigated to determine whether they also were linked to the journalist's work. He added that the number of journalists jailed worldwide also rose to 134 in 2006.
Notwithstanding the record showed by Dietz, he has no right to tag the Philippines as one of the most dangerous places in Asia for journalists because he has no factual basis for that accussation. In this country, not one journalist is being imprisoned in line with his/her profession. Reporters can openly roam around the archipelago to interview people and cover political, social, economic and security arenas without any restrictions.
While it is true that a number of journalists were slain in the Philippines, the government investigated all the cases which in most instances, led not only to the identification of the suspects, but to their arrests. Notably, most cases were not connected to the newsmen's work but rather, on personal reasons.
Galut said that Robert Dietz should visit the country and see for himself that the information he obtained from whatever source was purely misleading. "He should come to the Philippines and personally observe the real situation. Absolutely, he will find out that his report was malicious and false".