President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against two media companies were a plea for “fairness,” Malacañang said on Thursday.
“The President’s remarks on ABS-CBN Corporation and Philippine Daily Inquirer is [sic] a complaint against unfairness and are not attacks against Philippine journalism,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“The President himself agreed with the adversarial (antagonistic using PRRD’s word) role of media as check and balance against government abuses and venalities,” he added.
“However, it is unfortunate that these two media outfits tend to project the President as a caricature of a berserk strongman over a failed state.”
Abella insisted that the president’s criticisms was a call for media to be more fair and unbiased.
“[A]fter all, nations succeed when all sectors maintain objectivity and fairness as they collaborate in nation building.”
After administering the oath of office to the new officers of the Philippine Councilors’ League on Thursday, Duterte lashed out at the two media companies, calling their journalists “walang-hiya” over their stories about him and his administration.
“Alam mo ang Inquirer kahapon, talagang bulls— ang p— ina niya, basura talaga ‘yan pati ‘yung eleksyon na ganyan. The poor will be killed. Tignan mo mag-slant. Ewan ko ba but someday—hindi ko tinatakot but someday ‘yung karma dadating ‘yan,” Duterte said.
“Talagang mga walang-hiya ang p— inang journalista na ‘yan. Sabihin ko sa inyo talagang walang-hiya pati ‘yung ABS-CBN. Because if I have the money p— ina ninyo. Nandiyan na ako sa gobyerno ngayon and you can request any son of a b— there sa central bank. Tell them to get a statement, bakit ako magbigay sa kalaban ko?” he added.
The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) said Duterte’s comments were “unwarranted” and “absolutely twisted.”
“Mawalang-galang subali’t napakalinaw na kayo po, at hindi sila, ang bastos. It was a brazen abuse of your immense power as chief executive of this land and only shows how little, if any, appreciation you have of democracy and governance,” the NUJP said.