RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS is an important pillar of a democracy. It protects the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion, of expression, and of the press. It ensures that basic needs are met, vulnerable groups are protected from abuse, and the public can petition the government for redress of grievances.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution guarantees these rights without discrimination. It is the duty of the state to respect, protect, and fulfill them.
As journalists, media and communication students, and advocates, we recognize our duty to promote and uphold human rights standards and accountability for violations. It is a role that is especially critical amid the alarming deterioration of the human rights situation in the country.
In this regard, we pledge to:
- Make human rights issues a priority in our reporting.
- Mainstream human rights standards and accountability mechanisms.
- Adhere to evidence-based journalism when reporting human rights issues.
- Seek justice for victims of human rights violations and protection for vulnerable groups and communities.
- Demand accountability from government institutions, erring state actors and politicians as duty-bearers with the obligation to protect human rights.
- Always hold ourselves to higher standards of impartiality, credibility, and integrity.
In line with these principles, we commit to:
- Avoid and be mindful of reports that are one-sided. We will exert efforts to reach out to all parties involved and work to understand and present all sides to the story.
- Challenge and correct statements that do not have basis in fact.
- Visit affected communities if possible to get a first hand account of incidents.
- Do no harm. We will keep in mind that irresponsible reporting could inflict more damage upon the victims.
- Avoid highlighting or amplifying falsehoods, hate speech and incitements to violence.
- Avoid statements and jargons that harm vulnerable groups, indigenous peoples, women, children, and the LGBTQ+ community.
- Make a clear distinction between reportage and opinion.
- Form and strengthen alliances among journalists, media organizations, the academe, and civil society organizations that can provide context and better understanding of incidents and issues.
- Monitor and report if investigations are conducted to bring justice to victims of human rights violations.
- Not support public parading of suspects before the media.
- Employ investigative journalism to help in the search for truth and justice.
- Highlight the efforts of the public and private sectors to uphold respect for human rights.
- Share best practices, knowledge, and experience, and raise our individual and collective capacities and competencies in covering human rights issues.
*Top image is a photograph of a painting by Joseph Luigi Almuena, painted live during PCIJ's National Forum on Human Rights Reporting in March 2023
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
Horacio Severino, Chairman of PCIJ Board of Editors
Carmela Fonbuena, Executive Director
Rowena Paraan, Training Director
Cherry Mae Salazar, Multimedia Reporter
Martha Teodoro, Researcher
Elyssa Lopez, Staff Reporter
Joann Manabat, Training Officer
Gabriel Kim Leal, Training Officer
Altermidya - People's Alternative Media Network
Carolyn Arguillas, Mindanews
Felipe Salvosa | Press One, PCIJ
TJ Burgonio | Cover Story, PCIJ
John Nery, Rappler
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler
Ma. April Mier-Manjares, Philippine Daily Inquirer Luzon Bureau
Joanna Aglibot, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Alma C. Cornelio, Real Radio FM, Tandag
Edwin M. Iyo, Mindanao GoldStar Daily
Sean G.Sulugan, Benta Birada News Daily
Elmer Recuerdo, Eastern Visayas Media Without Borders
Roger N. Tilana, Magik FM Tacloban
Eleen S. Lim, Center for Community Journalism and Development (CCJD)
Menzie Montes-Tapungot, RMN INC
Donna Rabang Peta, Nordis
Froilan Gallardo, Mindanews
Jocelyn B. Ferol, Radio Mindanao Network RMN Surigao
Leonardo "Nardz" Hijara, Radio Broadcasting / Evangelical Bible College
Reynard Magtoto, Baretang Bikolnon
Steph Berganio, MisOr Radio and Northern Mindanao Daily Source
Rey Anthony R. Ostria, Philippine Daily Inquirer Luzon Bureau, Bicol University
Angelo Angolo, ABS-CBN Bacolod correspondent
Paolo Barcelon, Tier One Entertainment, Radyo Pilipinas 2
Rhaydz B. Barcia, Manila Times, Rappler, Bicol Mail, Dyaryo Bikol
Jodesz Gavilan, Rappler
Kyle Aristophere Atienza, BusinessWorld
Aya V. Jallorina, Publiko
Richelyn Gubalani, Brigada Mass Media Corp.-GenSan
Janvic Mateo, Philippine Star, OneNews.ph
Paul Soriano, NUJP Metro Manila
Redmond Jae Tobias Flores
Gab Humilde Villegas
Gaea Katreena Cabico, Philstar.com
Jeline Malasig, Interaksyon
Seymour B. Sanchez
Kathleen de Villa, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Rowel Montes, Sunshine Online News
Kevin Ortiz, Cavite State University-Imus, The Flare, Fyt, PressOne.PH
Lan Mercado, PCIJ and UP CMC alumna
Dexter A. See, Herald Express
Ma. Ceres P. Doyo, Women Writers in Media Now (WOMEN)
Rhonechelle Cabodbod, News Writer - Southern Leyte Times
Camille Diola, Philstar.com
Camille Diola, Philstar.com and Interaksyon
Marie Tonette Grace Marticio, Eastern Visayas Mail
Patricia Aquino, PumaPodcast
Mark Saludes, Christian Science Monitor
Mark Lester T. Ponce, The Negros News
Tess Bacalla, Asia Democracy Chronicles
Sol Juvida, Women Writers in Media
Rochit Tanedo, Women Writers in Media Now
Francis Allan Angelo, Daily Guardian
Jade Nombrado, Bandilyo Southern Leyte and Radio DYDM
Lucelle Bonzo, Davao Today
Che de los Reyes, International Media Support
Marianne Enriquez, TV5
Aileen Macalintal, PCIJ fellow
Franck Dick Rosete, Manila Bulletin
Paul Jeffrey Peñaflor
Jee Geronimo, Rappler
Raymund B Villanueva, Kodao Productions
Deanie Lyn Ocampo
Franco Luna, PumaPodcast
Ted Aldwin Ong, Freelance Journalist
Juan Miguel Aguilar
Eunice Barbara Novio, Freelance journalist
John Michael Mugas, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Melrose S. Lunn, Aklan Press Club, Inc.
Paulynn Sicam, Women Writers in Media
Chita Dela Cruz, The Aklan Reporter
Ana P. Santos, Freelance Journalist
Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN
Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, Women Writers
Iris Gonzales, Philippine Star