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Duterte reminds media to stick to truth, shun propaganda

/ 08:26 PM October 12, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the relaunching of the Malacañang Press Briefing Room (MPBR) at the New Executive Building (NEB) on October 12, 2017. PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Government communicators, especially from Malacañang, should not be arrogant, while members of the media should not lie.

These were among President Duterte’s reminders on Thursday when he led the inauguration of the renovated press briefing area in Malacañang.

Mr. Duterte said the new briefing room “exemplifies our government’s commitment to uphold the freedoms that these halls represent.”

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He called on government workers, especially those in his communications office, to remain committed to the duty of upholding the truth at all times.

“Never exaggerate, never misinterpret [and] never agitate as you communicate our platform of governance. In other words, do not be arrogant,” he said.

He also reminded the members of the media to stick to the truth.

“In the same vein, I call on our friends from the media to also remain committed to the truth at all times. Never, never lie because we are not up to it anyway,” he said.

They should also steer clear of sensationalism and propaganda, he added.

“Never confuse your search for answers with the need to engage the public through sensationalized news and overpublicized political propaganda,” he said.

Mr. Duterte also said there are truths that do not have to be made public immediately.

“There are truths which cannot be divulged just because it is the truth. It’s always a thing that awaits at the appropriate time,” he said.

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“There are many things I want to say. But I folded because I think it will not be to the best interest of the country, especially when everybody gets a go-go— whether sensationalized or not,” he added.

Journalists who do a little more thorough investigation would be able to find out the truth, he said.

The President, who once threatened to boycott the media shortly after being elected, also said there was a need “to foster a more vibrant relationship between the government and the press.”

“The role of the media is vital if we are to successfully educate our people about the much-needed constitutional reforms that would lead to a more responsive federal-parliamentary form of government that welcomes foreign investments as a catalyst for economic growth,” he said.

The renovated press briefing room is a multi-purpose room where a studio/stage is available for “talks.”

It has a 40 to 50 person seating capacity, and features four wide screen, high-definition television monitors. It has LED pin lights and LED studio lights.

The Malacañang seal, which used to be mounted on the wall, is now displayed on a 65-inch monitor. Retractable curtains were also installed.

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TAGS: Malacañang, Media, Philippine news updates, President Duterte, truth
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