Duterte tells supporters: Do not threaten journalists
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday appealed to his supporters not to threaten journalists.
While Duterte thanked his supporters, he said they should not subject the media to hate and online bullying.
“Itong mga (These) international writers, every network meron iyan silang (they have) correspondents, everyone. Not necessarily a foreigner but a resident correspondent. And they are not the subject, I was told, of several threats. I appreciate very much your support and may be your—how would I say it—enthusiasm to back me up,” he said.
“You are correct, I am doing nothing wrong but of course we should also not threaten people kasi hindi na sila makapagsulat ng totoo (because they could no longer write the truth),” he added.
Last Monday, the National Union of Journalist of the Philippines (NUJP) called on Malacañang to stop blaming the media and investigate threats against journalists.
The NUJP’s statement came amid threats that some Filipino journalists received online threats following the publication of Duterte’s war on drugs on the cover of TIME Magazine Asian edition.
The story, headlined “Night falls on the Philippines,” was written by Rishi Iyengar.
Filipino freelance journalist Gretchen Malalad and Al Jareeza correspondent Jamela Alindogan-Caudron were at the receiving end of threats from Duterte supporters after giving their two cents on the President’s relentless war on drugs.
Duterte had a rocky relationship with the media since assuming post, at one point accusing journalists of sensationalizing and twisting his statements, which are typically laced with expletives.
In a Palace briefing, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar also urged Duterte supporters to stop threatening Sen. Leila de Lima.
“Hindi ho maganda ‘yung (It is not appropriate that) we are threatening our ano, our own ‘no. Siyempre senador po natin si Senador De Lima (Senator De Lima is one of our senators). She is an elected official of the land,” Andanar said.
”At ganoon din po ang ating mensahe sa mga media men na hina-harass sa social media space (And that is also our message to our media men being harassed in social media space),” he added.
While social media is a free space, the Palace official said we should not “hurt” each other.
“We all know that the social media is a free space and we can say whatever we want to say. Pero siguro ang pakiusap po natin ay huwag ho tayong magkasakitan ng mga pino-post natin sa social media at lalong lalo na ho ay huwag ho tayong—Iwasan ho natin na i-threaten ‘yung ating mga kasamahan sa media (But we would like to request that let us not hurt each other through our posts on social media and most especially, let us not threaten our media people),” he said.
“It’s just basic thing, you know. Do unto others what you want others to do unto you,” he added. RAM
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