Pangilinan on SWS survey: ‘Culture of impunity’ planted fear on Filipinos

Published March 19, 2021, 10:20 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Francis Pangilinan said on Friday he is not surprised with the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey finding that more adult Filipinos agree that “it is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth.”

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (Photo from Kiko Pangilinan website / kikopangilinan.com / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (Photo from Kiko Pangilinan website / kikopangilinan.com / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Well, hindi surprising ‘yon dahil sa araw-araw na patayan na nangyayari at red-tagging, at ‘yong pagto-troll at paninira at pananakot na ginagawa sa social media lalo na. At ‘yong ginagawa rin ng gobyerno na inaaresto kaliwa’t kanan ang mga nagsasabi ng mga saloobin nila (that is not surprising because of the killings that have been happening every day and the red-tagging, and trolling and slandering and threat that is happening especially on social media. And also the arrest being done by the government of those who were vocal in voicing their opinions),” the opposition senator said in an online interview with reporters, March 19.

He also mentioned the implementation of the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, and the spate of killings of government officials, judges, lawyers, and activists.

“It’s culture of impunity that’s happening in the country. People are afraid. That’s what happens when you have impunity taking place,” he said.

“Can you blame them? Everyday, may balitang may binabaril (there i news that someone is shot dead), everyday may balitang pinapatay (there is news someone is killed)?”

In its survey conducted November 21-25, 2020, results of which released only March 19, the SWS said 65 percent of adult Filipinos agree with the statement: “It is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration, even if it is the truth.”

Only 16 percent disagreed, while 18 percent were undecided.

This gave a net agreement score of a “strong” +49, which was higher than the July, 2020 survey yielding a “moderate” +21, from the 51 percent who agreed and 30 percent disagreed.

The same survey, at the same time, also found that 65 percent agreed that they can “say anything I want, openly and without fear, even if it is against the administration”.

 
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