Philippine Daily Inquirer takes exception to Duterte’s accusation; no comment so far from ABS-CBN


MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte launched a tirade yesterday against the Philippine Daily Inquirer and broadcast network ABS-CBN over their “unfair” reports about him.

He also called the owners of the two media outfits as “oligarchs”.

Duterte aired his strong criticism of the Inquirer and ABS-CBN in two expletive-laden speeches in Malacañang Palace.

“Journalism is always antagonistic, but do not put too much slant. You smell bad. The Prietos, the Lopezes – you’re full of shit,” said Duterte, who cited in particular the Inquirer’s report about his administration’s war on drugs.

The Prietos own the Inquirer while the Lopezes are owners of ABS-CBN.

“That is the truth, Inquirer: You are bullshit, and also ABS-CBN. You put out garbage. Somebody should tell you now, you sons of bitches, you engaged in too much foolishness. Somebody should say: ‘You son of a bitch.” They might be afraid to say it. I will attack, even every day.”

In reaction to Duterte’s tirades, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, through executive editor Jose Ma. Nolasco, issued a statement as follows:

“The Philippine Daily Inquirer takes exception to President Duterte’s remarks that the newspaper has been unfair in its coverage of him and his administration.

Since its founding in 1985, the Inquirer has upheld the highest standards of excellence in journalism. Even as we’ve courageously pursued the truth in our coverage, we’ve endeavored to get the administration’s side of any controversy.

In fact, the Inquirer Opinion runs ”View from the Palace” every week, where Cabinet officials expound on and explain administration policy – and even the personality of the President himself.

The Inquirer’s wide readership and hundreds of awards, prizes and citations from prestigious organizations here and abroad attest to its adherence to accuracy, fairness and balance in its reporting.”

ABS-CBN, for its part, has not made any comment so far.

The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) however hit back at Duterte for his tirades against the Inquirer and ABS-CBN, describing it as uncalled-for.

The NUJP, in a statement, first addressed Duterte in Filipino saying, “with all due respect but it is obvious that it is you and not them who are ill-manned.”

“It was a brazen abuse of your immense power as chief executive of this land and only shows how little, if any, appreciation you have of democracy and governance. It is a mindset of the petty tyrant who mistakenly believes public office is an entitlement that allows you to flaunt the laws of the land that both grant you power and ensure the checks that prevent you from abusing that power.”

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the President’s attacks were about unfairness and not about Philippine journalism as a whole.

“The President himself agreed with the adversarial role of media as check and balance against government abuses and venalities. However, it is unfortunate that these two media outfits tend to project the President as a caricature of a berserk strongman over a failed state,” Abella said in a statement.

“The President’s statement is a call for media to be more fair and unbiased. After all, nations succeed when all sectors maintain objectivity and fairness as they collaborate in nation building,” he added. GAC/Expat Media


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