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Ambassadors reiterate support for media freedom in Phl

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By Veronica Uy

Ambassadors from around the world reiterated their support for media freedom in the Philippines, noting that it is the foundation of democracy.

At the Second Embassy Night of the THEPHILBIZNEWS Embassy Night in Hotel Okura Manila recently, Ambassador Jana Sediva of the Czech Republic said, “Media freedom is super important, and…I can say that you can rely on all embassies from European Union, that we will definitely do everything to support media, freedom of media, in this country.”

Czech Ambassdor to the Philippines Jana Šedivá 

In her speech, Ambassador Sediva, whose term in the Philippines is ending soon, congratulated THEPHILBIZNEWS head Monsi Serrano for upholding truth and fighting disinformation.

“I would like to…express my special thanks to my dear friend, Monsi Serrano, and all his colleagues from THEPHILBIZNEWS because what they do for this country and also for us or diplomatic communities is super important…I would like to express my thanks to him, and [the] commitment of the Czech embassy to be on his side always,” Ambassador Sediva said.

On the other hand, Ambassador Anke Reiffenstuel of Germany echoed Ambassador Sediva’s sentiment and told her story as a new envoy in the country.

“I would like to thank Monsi Serrano for organizing tonight’s event and for his friendship…Very soon after my arrival in the Philippines, almost four years ago, Monsi attended a concert at my residence and right on the spot, we set up my very first interview in this country,” she said.

“Only a few weeks later, Monsi almost made me eat balut. But only almost, I haven’t eaten ever, and I think I won’t ever. But Monsi is much more than a personal friend. He is a professional and reliable journalist and media personality,” Ambassador Reiffenstuel shared.

German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel (Photo from THEPHILBIZNEWS)

Germany’s chief diplomat commended journalists in the Philippines for providing objective and reliable information in a professional manner, as they are the Filipino people’s primary source of information.

“This highly important role and function as a journalist is constantly being challenged. Fake news and disinformation are gaining ground worldwide, especially but not only in social media. And what we currently see the Russian narrative on its aggressive invasion on Ukraine is just one example for this. Together, we have to counter such developments,” Ambassador Reiffenstuel said.

Belgian Ambassador Michel Parys shared the embassy’s commitment to protect the journalists and defend freedom of the press in the country.

Belgian Ambassador to the Philippines Michel Parys (Photo from THEPHILBIZNEWS)

“Belgium remains committed to different human rights, including women’s rights, children rights, LGBTs rights, during the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines. Belgium gives recommendation to protect the life of journalists to press freedom and to protect the life of human rights defenders and I was very glad that the Philippines accepted this recommendation,” Ambassador Parys said.

For her part, British Ambassador Laures Beaufils stressed the “fundamental importance of media in this country, as in every other country.”

British Ambassador to the Philippines Laures Beaufils (Photo from THEPHILBIZNEWS)

“[Media] is a pillar of democracy and we celebrate that and we will continue to forever champion media freedom here in the Philippines. It is one of our priorities. And you can you have my commitment that this will remain the case,” Ambassador Beaufils said.

Hotel Okura Manila host of the 2nd THEPHILBIZNEWS Embassy Night

In the same event at Hotel Okura Manila, THEPHILBIZNEWS’s Monsi Alfonso Serrano emphasized the role of independent media outfits in promoting cross-border bonds in business, culture, education, and friendship around the world.

Monsi Alfonso Serrano, Founder THEPHILBIZNEWS

“Our media company may not be well-known, but we are proud to have a big vision and mission. We believe in the 4Ps—Purpose, Public Service, People above Profit,” Serrano said.

THEPHILBIZNEWS is finishing its documentary video on the war in Ukraine, and Serrano thanked the embassies of the Czech Republic and Poland for supporting him and his team on the project.

Watch the trailer:

Serrano also thanked the foreign embassies for their statements condemning the murder of broadcast journalist Percy Lapid.

“On media welfare, the embassies have been very supportive of us, valuing the freedom of the press. Case in point, [in] the murder of Percy Lapid, the embassies of Canada, France, US, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and even Ambassador Koshikawa [Kazuhiko of Japan] issued their statement condemning this brutal and cowardly act to scare journalists in the Philippines,” Serrano said.

THEPHILBIZNEWS head highlighted the company’s mission: “To be every Filipino’s preferred source of factual information wherever they are in the world remains. We commit to further promoting investments and people-to-people understanding,” he said.

May 4, was World Press Freedom Day.

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