The Philippines remained the 7th deadliest country in the world for journalists in terms of unsolved killings, according to press freedom organization Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) in its 2021 Global Impunity Index report.
“Globally in 2020, at least 22 journalists were singled out for murder in retaliation for their work, more than double the total for 2019. For 2021, the number of murders is tracking closely to last year’s, but political volatility in Afghanistan and other high-risk nations makes the final 2021 total difficult to predict,” CPJ said in a statement.
The 2021 index showed littled change from last year's, with Somalia, Syria, Iraq and South Sudan occupying the worst five spots on the list “as conflict, political instability, and weak judicial mechanisms perpetuate a cycle of violence against journalists.”
The Philippines, which retained its spot from last year, has 13 unsolved murders from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2021.
During the 10-year index period, a total of 278 journalists around the world were killed from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2021.
Of the total, 81 percent of the cases or 226 murders having no convictions for the crime.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) expressed optimism that the Philippines will soon be out of the impunity index.
PTFoMS executive director Joel Sy Egco noted that “for the first time, the CPJ made no country-specific report on the Philippines unlike in the past.”
"This can be attributed to our engagement with international bodies such as the CPJ, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and UNESCO, to name a few. It is a sign that we are slowly getting out of the list,” he said.