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Gov’t vows to strengthen media freedom, security

MANILA: The government has vowed to strengthen media freedom and security through the allocation of necessary resources.

In a media forum on Friday, Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez said visiting United Nations Special Rapporteur Irene Khan, in her exit conference with key government officials, offered suggestions to enhance programs and mechanisms safeguarding human rights, with focus on freedom of opinion and expression.

‘These suggestions will be thoroughly evaluated and considered for implementation, serving as a foundation for transformative measures,’ he said. ‘While the government is open to reforms, it points out the difficulties in fully grasping the local nuances within a brief ten-day visit.’

He said further discussions and collaborative efforts between the government and Khan are planned.

During the exit conference, Gutierrez said Khan commended the “resilience and dynamism” of the nation’s civil society organizations and gover
nment agencies for their detailed briefings and insights.

She also highlighted several positive developments, such as the renewal of peace negotiations, the release of Senator Leila de Lima and Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa, and the active participation of a robust civil society.

‘The government reaffirms its dedication to balancing the rights to association and expression with the fundamental right to life, highlighting the challenges of navigating security and freedom with sensitivity and complexity,’ Gutierrez said.

Khan started her official ten-day visit to the country on Jan. 23, 2024.

She engaged with 24 government agencies and met with over 10 members of the House of Representatives and seven members of the Supreme Court to understand the nation’s nuances and appreciate its multi-pronged efforts in promoting and safeguarding freedom of opinion and expression.

Source: Philippines News Agency