Palace disputes Ressa: She’s always exaggerating
MANILA, Philippines — Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is again “exaggerating” for saying that the environment for journalists in the Philippines is far worse than any war zone, Malacañang said Monday.
“As Maria, my friend is, one, she’s always exaggerating,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“It’s only a war zone to those who were involved in drugs and who resist violently any warrant of arrest being served them or when they are subject of a buy-bust operation and they violently resist as well as imperil the lives of law enforcement officers,” he added.
Ressa, in an interview with CBS News, said she and other journalists reporting Duterte’s performance “have been living through three years of this kind of hell.”
Ressa said she has been called “every single animal you can think of.”
Despite Ressa’s clams, Panelo said the Philippines is “safe” for journalists.
“That’s their belief, but the fact is every journalist, whether here or abroad, is free to cover any event in this country; and they come out alive and well and very good at reporting, even if sometimes exaggerating,” he said.
Duterte has called Ressa’s Rappler a “fake news outlet.” /kga
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