Reacting to online threats against two broadcast journalists, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Wednesday remained firm in its stance to defend a free press and called for the protection of all media workers in the country.
“We do not and cannot take lightly any threats or any allusions to harm the lives of journalists, regardless if such statements are deliberate or cursory,” a CHR statement said.
The commission reacted to reports of online threats made against TV5 journalist Ed Lingao and television host Lourd de Veyra.
A certain Seth Corteza claimed that the duo would be the next victims of assassination after the fatal attack on radio broadcaster Percival Mabasa, also known as Percy Lapid.
“As an independent human rights institution, CHR actively works for the security of the media through our helpdesks and public safety mechanisms. We shall endeavor to reach out to the involved and explore preventive measures, through our Investigation Office, offer
assistance as well as a quick response mechanism that will look into the veracity of threats, among others,” CHR said.
“Once again, we stress the undeniable and vital role of the media in helping the Filipino citizenry obtain timely and accurate information imperative to the realizations of their rights,” it added.
It asserted that any attempts to silence the press, particularly by creating a culture of fear and violence, directly impacts democracy and the human rights situation in the country.
“The Commission calls on the government to address these violations and take proactive measures to stop media attacks,” it said.
“We look forward to their efforts to look into this matter and similar cases of media rights violations committed in the country. CHR hopes for genuine justice and the end of impunity,” it stressed.