'We cannot be free if journalists aren't free': Diplomats in PH celebrate World Press Freedom Day

Foreign diplomats in the Philippines have joined in the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day and assured the members of the press of their respective government's support.

Australia, Czech Republic, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States were among the countries that joined in the celebration.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines HK Yu in a Twitter post said Canberra reiterates its commitment to media freedom and recognizes "the importance of journalists' work, and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of truth and openness."

The Czech Embassy in Manila said Prague is expressing its gratitude for all the "brave journalists and media professionals" around the world.

It said freedom of speech and independent media are vital for good governance, informed decision-making and accountability of governments.

"The ongoing war in Europe clearly demonstrates the importance of freedom of the press as a source of independent and truthful information, which lead to an adequate reaction of the democratic governments," it said.

France, on the other hand, said it remains "committed to promoting press freedom, protecting journalists and combating impunity for crimes against journalists;" while Canada thanked the mediamen "for their relentless pursuit of the truth and their commitment to share those truths with us."

The British Embassy in Manila, meanwhile, is celebrating World Press Freedom Day with the theme: "freedom of expression is a driver for all other human rights."

EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron offered his thoughts to the "brave journalists that have been victims of violence and attacks because of their work."

He said: "We cannot be free if journalists are not free."

The US Embassy in Manila also "honored" journalists for their "courage and sacrifice" and commended "those who seek the truth to inform, educate and enlighten."