Media groups tackle press freedom

May. 07, 2014

By Daisy Apit

Davao Today intern

DAVAO CITY — Media practitioners marked the World Press Freedom Day  (WPFD) with a forum last Monday.

WPFD was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference in 1991.

Editor-In-Chief of Edge Davao newspaper Antonio Ajero, gave the forum’s opening address, stressing the importance of press freedom.

“I don’t know how to describe a country without press freedom. There would be all kinds of abuses of power. Abuses by the strong against the weak, by the governors against the governed. There would be anarchy and chaos,” Ajero said.

Kurt Hoyer, spokesperson of  US Embassy stated the importance of press freedom  and its vital role for a successful democracy.

Hoyer said, “Journalism needs to be based on truth and facts and that it should not forget its main goal: to educate the audience. Accuracy and truth sometimes is hardwork.”

Boy Mordeno, Mindanews cooperative chairman emphasized “Journalism is supposed to create questions, controversies even,” he said.

Mordeno tackled about the Millennium Development Goals 2015 and stressed that the goals are “purely economic” and lacks media emphasis.

Atty. Prima Jesusa Quinsayas, public prosecutor representing media murder victims of the Ampatuan Massacre in 2009 also spoke of the updates on the massacre which snuffed the lives of 32 journalists.

She said Manila-based prosecutors were not able to go to Mindanao for safety reasons, thus witnesses were transported to Manila for processing.

Philippines ranks third with the most number of death related to press work.

Quinsayas added that since 1986 there were 140 cases involving media killings, and out of this number, only 13 perpetators have been convicted. (

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