United States Ambassador to Manila Philip Goldberg on Thursday expressed concern on extra-judicial and media killings in the country.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Manila said Goldberg met on Wednesday with the Confederation of Asean Journalists (CAJ), Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), National Press Club (NPC), Kapisanan ng Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP) and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) to learn more about the challenges facing the Philippine media.
Some of the issues tackled include extra-judicial and media killings.
Goldberg reiterated that freedom of the press is “a fundamental human right.”
He said the US government will support an “open media environment where journalists are free to work safely without fear of being threatened or killed.”
“The targeted killing of journalists has continued in the Philippines and impunity for these crimes has remained a serious issue,” the embassy said.
The Philippines has the third most number of journalists killed last year, according to two international media watchdogs.
In the “Killing the Messenger” report, the London-based International News Safety Institute (INSI) said 14 journalists were killed in the country in 2013. It trails Syria, with 20 journalists slain and Iraq with 16.
“The United States government continues to partner with the Philippines government to strengthen the judicial system, build the capacity of law enforcement to investigate crimes and address impunity and train journalists in media ethics and standards,” the embassy said.