‘Bato’ urges media: Be fair in reporting drug war
Echoing Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo’s call, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has asked the media not to “bloat too much” the data on summary killings, which give a bad image to the Duterte administration’s war against illegal drugs.
“Ang appeal lang namin is just to be fair. Huwag lang nilang i-bloat masyado ‘yung data. Huwag lang nila masyado i-paint na talagang masama war on drugs natin,” Dela Rosa said in a press conference at Camp Crame on Thursday.
(Our appeal (to the media) is just to be fair. We ask them not to bloat too much their data. They should not paint as evil our war on drugs.)
Saying that the media’s supposed highlighting of the extrajudicial killings makes it hard to sell the Philippines to tourists, Teo asked the media to “tone down” coverages on the deaths the drug war had caused.
Her statement drew flak, with critics saying that the media should not be blamed for supposedly putting the country in a bad light. Instead, they said the government should address the rampant killings.
The Tourism Secretary also chided Vice President Leni Robredo for talking about her opposition to the government’s brutal anti-drug campaign before the international community in a recorded video message.
Robredo also mentioned that more than 7,000 people had been executed in summary killings since the drug war started in July last year.
The PNP has repeatedly clarified that only around 2,500 of the 7,000 killings were related to drugs. The remaining are considered “deaths under investigation” which could be committed because of other motives.
Dela Rosa said the media should be balanced when reporting facts about the drug war.
His idea of balanced reporting is: “Kung mag-report sila ng masama, mayroon din i-report na maganda para ma-balance. Balanse lang na pagtingin sa sitwasyon (If they report something bad, they should have something good to report as well to balance things out. They should have a balanced appreciation of the situation).” IDL/rga
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