According to the latest Global Impunity Index of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the Philippines is still one of the 10 worst countries for journalists. The index took work-related killings of journalists from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2021 into account.
In the previous year, the country placed seventh overall in the index. Countries are ranked based on unsolved journalist murders compared to population within the period of the past decade.
Last year, the Philippines had 11 unsolved murders. The number has since gone up to 13 after the murders of Renante Cortes and Jobert Bercasio. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) says at least 19 journalists have been slain during the Duterte administration.
Cortes was a commentator for Cebu-based dyRB, and was shot dead in front of the radio station last July 22 after his program.
Bercasio was a host for Balangibog Internet TV’s morning news and commentary program. He was shot by motorcycle-riding men and died on the spot last September 14, 2020. The crime happened in Sorsogon City.
The NUJP points out that CPJ’s Global Impunity Index has not included all 19 deaths they’ve noted under the Duterte administration, as the index only includes work-related unsolved murders.
For 2020, the Philippines ranking seventh was an improvement from the previous ranking of fifth. This was because dozens of cases related to the Maguindanao massacre had aged out of the timeframe for index calculation.
Most countries are still in the same situation, the CPJ said. Nobody has been held accountable in 81% of journalist murders over the last decade.