Andreah Dianne M. Cartagena

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. once again skipped the topic regarding media in his 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA) despite related issues that happened during his administration’s first year.

Photo Courtesy of Jire Carreon/PCP / Maria Tan/ABS-CBN News / Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat

One unsettling event that swept up the country was the killing of Percy Lapid in October 2022. Additionally, broadcasters Rey Blanco and Cresenciano Bunduquin were killed in September 2022 and May 2023, respectively, underscoring the dangers faced by media professionals in the nation.

Moreover, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) reported 84 attacks and threats against various press and media personalities in a year.

The US State Department’s human rights report also brought attention to the situation, revealing that there are unresolved cases of journalists who were physically attacked in previous years.

Despite these pressing issues and with National Press Freedom Day approaching on August 30, Marcos did not acknowledge any of these problems nor present any related plans concerning the media and disinformation in his one-hour and 11-minute speech.

It is worth noting that in October 2022, the president vowed his support for the media’s rights, recognizing the importance of providing access to information in the Philippines. Notably, during the 50th anniversary of Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), Marcos further emphasized how the press helps inform the citizens, shapes the public’s opinion, and triggers social change.

Edited by Audrei Jeremy Mendador