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Majority of Filipinos now see danger of publishing anything critical of the gov't - SWS

By Bim Santos Published Mar 19, 2021 5:14 pm

The number of Filipinos who sees the danger of publishing anything critical of the government, even if it is true, has increased according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.

In the fourth quarter SWS survey, 65% of adult 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 result yielded a net agreement score of +49, which is classified by SWS as “strong.” This result grew by 28 points from the “moderate” +21 points in July 2020.

Those who agreed with the statement that it is dangerous to publish anything critical of the administration was highest in Mindanao at +58, followed by Visayas at +55, Balance of Luzon at +47, and Metro Manila at +30.

In Mindanao and Visayas, the net agreement rose sharply from “moderate” to “very strong.” In Balance Luzon and Metro Manila, it grew from “moderate” to “strong.”

Two national media entities that have incurred the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte have suffered setbacks under the administration: namely ABS-CBN, whose bid to renew its franchise was junked by lawmakers, and the online news site Rappler, whose license was revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In a briefing today, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said no one should be afraid as the exercise of press freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution.

The SWS survey was done from Nov. 21-25, 2020 using face-to-face interviews of 1,500 adults.