Inside Story

Will media freedom in the Philippines survive?

President Rodrigo Duterte takes legal action to shut down the country’s biggest broadcaster.

It has been described as the most severe attack on media freedom in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte has filed a Supreme Court petition to shut down ABS-CBN, the country’s largest television network, accusing it of committing “highly abusive practices”.

Duterte has repeatedly pledged to stop the network’s operations and has threatened other media outlets.

In a protest on Friday, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines accused the Duterte government of trying to silence media critics.

So will freedom of speech survive in one of Asia’s largest democracies?

Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault


Harry Roque – Former spokesman for Duterte and lawyer

Richard Heydarian – Political scientist, author of, The Rise of Duterte: a Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy

Danilo Arao – Professor of journalism, University of the Philippines