The Provincial Safety Network for Journalists and Human Rights Defenders – Luzon cluster strongly condemned the continuous killings and harassments against the members of the media and human rights defenders that is aimed at limiting the access of Filipinos to accurate and timely information.
In a statement issued during the commemoration of the bloody Maguindanao massacre that resulted to the untimely demise of 58 individuals, including 32 journalists, the PSN-Luzon cluster urged the government to take a stand, address the attacks, and end impunity for crimes against media workers as freedom of the press if the foundation of any democracy.
The PSN-Luzon cluster is a non-stock multi-stakeholder organization composed of journalists, human rights defenders and civil society organizations advocating for freedom of speech, expression and of the press for a democratic society.
Further, the group aims to help in safeguarding journalists and human rights workers to uphold responsible journalism and retain journalistic independence.
According to the said cluster, the role of media and human rights workers is crucial in ensuring accountability for a health y democratic society and economic growth.
Moreover, journalists who capture stories through investigative journalism uncover truth and expose those who abuse power aside from echoing the voice of the voiceless and amplify those who need to be heard.
The PSN-Luzon cluster claimed that over the past 3 decades, hundreds of journalists and human rights defenders have been killed and continue to seek justice as many cases remain unsolved.
Worst, series of harassments such as online threats as well as intimidation, including surprise visits by the members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were also made.
The organization stipulated that the said deterring effects on such attacks has created a culture of fear and violence compromising the state and quality of journalism in the country when the fight to defend press freedom should not be subversive.