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Freedom of the Press in the Philippines

A cartoon originally published on the October 20, 2021 Philippine News Today, a Filipino American community newspaper in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Journalists in the Philippines have faced ongoing harassment since Rodrigo Duterte became President of the Philippines in 2016 Journalists were insulted and harassed. Trolls threatened female journalists online with rape. News sites who were critical of Duterte faced false allegations that led to costly court cases.

Though the new president Bongbong Marcos has not verbally attacked the press the way former president Duterte did, journalists continue to be red tagged by the military and journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio remains in jail.

In spite of the harassment and online disinformation, Philippine journalists continue to hold the line in the fight for democracy in the Philippines. This is exemplified by Maria Ressa, the Philippine journalist who shared the Nobel Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov.

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