Palace reporters hit Andanar, admin officials: Stop blaming the media
The Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) decried Wednesday the statement of Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, claiming that media “misreported” President Rodrigo Duterte’s comments on martial law.
“We take exception to the statement of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar accusing the media of ‘misreporting’ President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement about martial law,” MPC said in a statement.
Andanar earlier released a statement, blasting the media for its irresponsible reporting on Duterte’s martial law remarks.
“Such headlines sow panic and confusion to many. We consider this kind of reportage as the height of journalistic irresponsibility,” he said.
In his speech in Davao City on Saturday night, Duterte said he would declare martial law if the drug situation in the country turns “very virulent.”
“You know I have to protect the Filipino people. It’s my duty. I tell you now, if I have to declare martial law, I will declare it. Not about invasion, insurrection, not about danger. I will declare martial law to preserve my nation, period,” the President said.
“Wala akong pakialam diyan sa (I don’t care about the) Supreme Court or–because the thing, the right to preserve one’s life and my nation, my country transcends everything else even the limitation. Kung gusto ko at (If I wanted to and) it will deteriorate into something really virulent, I will declare Martial Law if I wanted to. Walang makapigil sa akin (No one can stop me),” he added.
MPC said “the media merely paraphrased or translated some of [the President’s] lines.”
The group urged Andanar to read the entire news story to understand its context.
“We encourage the good secretary and his officials to read the entire news stories, not just the heads or titles to get a better picture of the media’s coverage of the President,” it said.
Palace reporters have expressed concern over the propensity of Duterte officials to blame the media when the President’s statements cause controversy.
“We are disturbed and appalled by the propensity of the officials of this administration to blame the media whenever the inflammatory statements of the president stir controversy or draw flak. This trend should stop as it would not contribute to the elevation of the level of public discourse,” it said
“The media has no obligation to please or satisfy sources because its loyalty is to the citizens, those who will be affected by the actions of people who are far more powerful than them,” it added.
MPC hopes that “such behavior is not an attempt to discredit or undermine the media, which plays a crucial role in keeping our democracy healthy and checking those in power, and supplant them with information sources that would push for an agenda that is less than noble than the truth.” CDG