Affable Aquino addresses media summit


NOT COMBATIVE. President Aquino underscores the need to arrest and prosecute the people involved in the killing of journalists. He spoke at a gathering of media executives in Tagaytay City. LYN RILLON

This time, he made sure to deliver the message in a more affable manner.

No, he did not appear to be in a fighting mood, but President Benigno Aquino III took yet another opportunity on Friday to call the media’s attention to their purported “shortcomings,” but vowed “to work with you toward the advancement and protection of your profession.”

“When I talk about your profession in public, I have been forthright about the shortcomings I see, not because I enjoy criticizing, but because I believe it can help,” he said in a speech before the country’s top media executives at Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City.

“My door is always open and I am here to listen to you and to work with you. I have said nothing that your own readers, viewers and listeners have not already said themselves,” Mr. Aquino said.

Combative guest

Mr. Aquino’s more congenial approach on Friday was in marked contrast to the combative stance he displayed in previous media events where he was an invited guest.

Last July, he berated ABS-CBN’s “TV Patrol” at its own anniversary party, for supposedly highlighting negative news. Just last week, he reiterated his preference for positive news before a gathering of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).

After delivering his speech on Friday, the President spent about an hour in a closed-door meeting with media owners and executives. Among them was Inquirer president Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, who had directly addressed Mr. Aquino’s complaints against the media at the plenary.

“Mr. President, you have sometimes spoken of being bombarded with negativity. We feel for you,” Romualdez said in her remarks.

But she reminded Mr. Aquino that “the Constitution grants that the press is fundamentally free as it allows the press to determine negative or positive in different ways.”

“This is the diversity of opinion at the heart of democracy,” she pointed out.


No to media regulation

Mr. Aquino later insisted that he was not making a “pitch for government to take an active role in media regulation.”

“I have seen the harmful effects of state-controlled media and I am old enough to remember how, before martial law, media was held in the highest regard and considered the journal of record,” he said.

“Martial law changed that, turning a noble profession into a propaganda machine, with those in power censoring and even punishing those who spoke the truth—my father included,” he said.

The President tackled two key issues where media’s “solidarity can produce tangible outcomes.” He mentioned the need to come up with “consistent standards” in media to address conflicts of interest or determine mechanisms for redress for people who feel aggrieved by a story.

He also tackled “corruption in media,” the theme of this year’s Media Nation Summit, asking whether the benefits received by the media rank-and-file were “commensurate to the highest standards of integrity demanded of them.”

“Having seen the price our country paid to regain freedom, I believe it is incumbent on all of us to continually improve the standards to which we hold ourselves and to insist on accountability—from public officials to journalists like you,” he said.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • blainz

    Wasn’t the last example of presidential combativeness against the media, as noted above, a pointed critique of Noli De Castro? The ex-VP was egregiously injecting his opinions in the middle of news segments. Even ABS-CBN itself was coming close to reprimanding him:


    I watched the president’s speech and found nothing antagonistic with it. It was staid as far as I can tell, and as the theme of the event was corruption in media, the contents where entirely pertinent.


    I would have preferred a more combative speech myself – PNoy was advocating for higher pay for reporters around the 7:00 mark, as a countermeasure against “paid” reports. There was no mention at all of the “column feeding” issue of 4 writers from a few days ago, something a lot of mediamen there were probably wishing for to make more salable copy.

    BTW, were those four in attendance?

    Freedom of speech applies to all citizens of the republic; press, church (last week), and president included. There must be a bit of institutional shock for those more used to doing the critiquing than being critiqued, but that is what you get when there’s a president that can speak his mind carrying a far lesser hint of hypocrisy than his predecessors.

    • sopingac

      ABS-CBN-style of news reporting has been there for so many years and is designed to sway public opinion. In fact Pnoy greatly benefited from it as this was an effective tool to add flame to peoples hatred on Gloria.

      If it was ok before why not anymore now?

      • blainz

        De Castro’s case was a lot more odious than the simple slanting of a story. He is the former VP and should have retired, not returned, to being a newscaster.

  • Josemakabayan

    Well maybe he knows now that if he points his finger at anybody four fingers points back at him! It’s always give and take if you know how to criticize you should know how to take criticism !!!!! Now you are being a leader and a statesman, Mr. President congrats !!!

  • regd

    This is where I draw the line with the President. Until any media shouts bomb or incite rebellion, they can express whatever they want. If PNoy cannot stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen!

  • yesyesyo

    Compared to 9 years of arroyo who did not face the FOCAP in their yearly presscon, PNoy has attended their gatherings and answered all their questions two years in a row already.

    PNoy is more transparent simply because he is not hiding anything.

    • KenKhoy

      transparent…….. now is the time to pass foi bill………

    • maximus_meridius

      Yes, I agree.  Transparent nga ang pagka retarded ni Abnoy.

    • Bantay

      eh kung wala siyang tinatago at gusto nya ng transparency bakit ayaw nya sa FOI bill??? bakit???ang post mo sinisisi mo naman ang nakaraang administrasyon! mahilig talaga kayo manisi!!!

      • Joseph Aquino

        Itanong mo sa mga lawmakers?

  • EdgarEdgar

    Combative or congenial, Noynoy is not fooling anyone. Noynoy’s speech is riddled with overused euphemisms that fail to mask his creeping despotism. When Noynoy proposes “common standards”, the media knows this is a precursor to uniform reporting in compliance with state propaganda. Simply put, Noynoy wants the media to sing him praises in chorus and in unison. When Noynoy seeks to enforce greater “accountability” within the the media, he is simply asking the media to exercise more self-restraint, self-doubt and self-censorship or be accountable for unforeseen consequences. Such a not-so-subtle threat would surely not be lost on the media. When Noynoy extolls the virtues of “solidarity” and how “solidarity produces tangible outcomes”, he might as well be chanting the old Martial Law mantra — sa ikauunlad ng bayan disiplina ang kailangan. Our mama’s boy of a president can throw another one of his legendary tantrums but he cannot compel the media to fall in line or toe the yellow line or go along with the flow. Not unless he’s got some goodies and PPP sweetheart deals to entice the media bosses with. That unfortunately is the bittersweet truth of the love-hate relationship between the president and the media. There is no business like show business.

    • Joseph Aquino

      When was the tantrum you mentioned?

      You and your ilk really like Gloria Arroyo, don’t you?

      Just submit your evidence or semblance of it and not just constantly resorting to allegations, insinuations and false attribution.

      What goodies did President Aquino get and what about the PPP? Name names on your claim of “sweetheart deals”. Please expound in your  “not-so subtle threats” by the President. It would be nice if you list those tell-tell signs of despotism.

      You are becoming delusional as days pass by. Like a kabalen, for you an egg is already a bird, “itlog pa lang, eh ibon na”.

  • pabulaka

    Envelopmental journalism is still very active nowadays and the leaders of this profession are ignoring it. To make it worse, some reporters are not even smart enough to bring the news and their pronunciations sometimes changed the news itself.

  • Fulpol

    “Martial law changed that, turning a noble profession into a propaganda machine, with those in power censoring and even punishing those who spoke the truth—my father included,” he said.

    the yellow media also helped you to ascend to Presidency.. thanks to them…

    was that propaganda machining?

  • tilamsik

    Media should exercise self-censure.  Stop those “kabastusan at kalaswaan” in TV shows.    

    • buttones

      But is not our press self regulated anyway? On the TV shows, well I really cannot comment, returning to PH five years ago I bought a TV [Chinese actually] to keep track of current events, forget that one, endless advertisements for iced tea, by the Presidents sister oddly enough, kids jumping up and down to some primordial beat, OMG! Have you ever put a hammer through a TV screen? It’s quite satisfying actually, expensive but non the less very satisfying…. I would venture to say this archaic medium of TV, controlled as it is, is in it’s death throes, it’s basically history- and thank God for that…

  • robert000001

    For example, mention Malaya and the first word that comes to my mind now is “Pwe”! Why did I even bother to read an article there? What a waste of time.

    • 444mangyan888

      Malaya of old…martial law era..or present malaya of Mike makasaet..?

  • kilabot

    affable and coughful, ubo ubo ubo! the audience covered their faces with hankies. people don’t mind the spanking more than the virus being spread around.
    the reasons why people are hesitant to shake noykapon’s hand are:
    1) his constant coughing and sneezing;
    2) his habit of playing with his dick in his pocket with the other hand;

  • josefe38

    Affable ka nyo? Ibig sabihin nabawas bawasan ang ka abnoyan sa besa ng cough syrup, uho, uho, uho, uho. Courtesy of codeine, dextromethorphan. 

  • buttones

    There is no such thing as ‘negative news’, it’s just news that is all, that it might be ‘negative’ to the current administration is just something Aquino has to learn to live with, if he gave positive, ground breaking news to the press backed up by real events and progress he might find the press would report those as such… the press lean a bit this way and that, but they cannot be accused of reporting a lot of lies, this simply is not true- Aquino from his early days was always ‘irked’ regarding the reporting of bad news, not just by the press but by his minions as well, well that’s life isn’t it, and it might be the case that growing up in his matriarchal family, and he being the only boy he was used to constant praise for being such- welcome to the real world Aquino, do it right and you will be praised, do it wrong and you are going to get hammered, it’s really just like having a job, do it well and you will be rewarded, do it badly and you find yourself clearing out your desk……

  • disqusted0fu

    the shortcomings of the media is only caused by the shortcomings of the president and his government. why cant the media report more good news than bad? the answer is simple, because there are only few good news and majority are bad. if the president is doing his part as a president, the rest will follow, and so will good news. but at this rate that he is going now, he should keep on expecting negative news.

  • Seroquel55

    He was heavily sedated with anti-psychotic drugs  that’s why.

  • Your_King

    If Aquino would just work hard and have some actual achievements during his Presidency then maybe the media would need not report on his shortcomings. Instead, Aquino continues on his noynoying way and then blames the media for reporting what’s there which is not much.

    • Pinoy_tayo

      Ano ba tayong mga Pinoy? marami na ngang foreign leaders and financial institutions/authorities na pumupuri sa current economic growth ng bansa natin, noynoying pa rin sinasabi. Mas mabilis sana pag-angat ng bansa natin kung magtutulungan lahat at tinutulungan ang mga lider natin. Marami sumusuporta pero meron pa ring marami din na puro dakdak ng dakdak lang, wala na man magandang ginagawa. Kailan kaya tayo magbago? Para sa mga anak ninyo or magiging anak ninyo, tulungan natin mga lider natin na iahon bansa natin.

      • Your_King

        12 million Filipinos unemployed. Millions more have left and are leaving the country to work abroad. Smuggling the worst during Aquino’s term. BOC and the BI along with BuCor all having major problems. Millions of displaced squatters are being neglected. Malnourishment, especially among children remain high. Infrastructure development either slow or non-existent. No clear plan for education. Bickering among the Senators and Congressman. China Crisis. The list can go on and on…as much as it is tough to admit…noynoying is indeed what happening by the Philippine President.

  • vir_a

    Sabi nga ng foreign survey, Filipinos are the most emotional. Yes, we have a president who most typically represents that findings. And his followers and admirers are worst emotionally. He is more emotional than be intellectual when he communicates his ideas.

    • Seroquel55

       P.Aquino being overly emotional is caused by his adverse psychological condition.  He can be very emotional and in an instance could turn stoic harden than concrete. 

  • Joseph Aquino

    Magtrabaho naman kayo. Puro kayo ngas-ngas.

  • disqus_F7NxgCOapC

    Hanggang ang industriya nang pamamahayag ay nakatali sa kumpas ng mga negosyante at pulitiko… hindi natin makikita ng buo ang 5 Canons of Jounalism.. 

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos