News Release

PH better served by ‘critical press’ – PBBM

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday encouraged media practitioners to perform their job without restriction as he underscored the relevance of a critical press in the country.

“Unlike many of my predecessors, I do not seek collaboration, for that implies a surrender of your Independence. I am of the opinion that national interest is better served by a press that is critical rather than a press that is cooperative,” Marcos said in his speech during the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP).

The President stressed that nothing should hamper members of the media from imparting the truth to the public. “It (the press) must have the untrammeled freedom to do its work, not just to arm the citizenry with the truth, but also to deepen discernment in this age of mass disinformation. In fact, this has been the hallmark of FOCAP’s relationship with the presidency and the government for this half century,” he added.

It’s the first time in nine years that a Philippine president has attended the forum. The Chief Executive’s father, former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., started the tradition and was the first Philippine leader to grace it 50 years ago.

“Five decades later, I stand here, addressing you as the President, to celebrate your golden anniversary and carry on the legacy of this important media tradition,” the chief executive told members of the FOCAP.

President Marcos also used the occasion to renew his vow to continue defending press freedom in the Philippines and to continue protecting and ensuring the welfare of media practitioners in the country. “As President, I will seek this forum, not only to explain our policies, but to renew my vow to what I deeply believe in: That the President’s role is to defend press freedom, and not lead in destroying it or demeaning its practitioners,” he said.

President Marcos said his duty is not to ask special favor, but only fairness which everyone deserves from the fourth state. The President also lauded FOCAP for living it up to the public trust without compromising their principles in a manner that is “fair but nuanced, balanced but critical.” PND