President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the inauguration of the new Communications, Navigation, Surveillance / Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Systems Development Project at the Philippine Air Traffic Management Center (PATMC) in Pasay City on January 16, 2018. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Duterte has defended himself against accusations that his administration is restricting the freedom of the press after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decided to revoke the registration of the online news site, Rappler.
“Wala akong pakialam diyan. I mean, you have been throwing trash and s*** all along but pinabayaan ko. Pag nasilip kayo na meron pala kayong…but of the matter is, sabihin naman ninyong harassment. Kalokohan. Kung kami ang magmura, masama. Kung kayo ang gumawa ng kalokohan ninyo, okay kayo,” he said.
(I don’t care about that. I mean, you have been throwing trash and s*** all along but I let it go. When you are investigated and they find something…but of the matter is, you then start calling it harassment. That’s foolishness. When we cuss, we’re the bad guys. But when it’s you who’s misbehaving, it’s fine.)
The Chief Executive insisted that he had no hand in the decision of the SEC, noting that many of those who participated in the voting of the ruling are not his appointees.
The President also slammed media organizations that oligarchs and elites allegedly use to destroy the image of the government.
President Duterte also named Rappler and the broadsheet Inquirer in his speech.
He also warned of filing charges against owners of media outlets whom he accused of violating the Constitution.
“So it’s not a question of press freedom. It’s a question of abuse and protection by the elite of this country who hold the power. It’s about time that kayong mga mayaman, p***** i** huminto kayo kaka-abuso ninyo. Ginagamit ninyo ang media. Tingnan ninyo, one of these days, I’ll file a plunder case. ‘Pag finile ko plunder case, you will go to jail without a bail. Yung inyong mga reporter, they will be allowed to criticize us. But you go to jail for your crime or crimes,” Duterte said.
(So it’s not a question of press freedom. It’s a question of abuse and protection by the elite of this country who hold the power. It’s about time that the rich elites, **** stop your abuse. You are using the media…one of these days, I’ll file a plunder case. When I file the plunder case, you will go to jail without a bail. . . your reporters, they will be allowed to criticize us. But you go to jail for your crime or crimes.)
He also challenged Rappler to prove the allegations in one of its reports about Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.
In the said news item, Rappler reported that Go meddled in the acquisition of two warships of the Philippine Navy worth P15.5 billion.
The Chief Executive defended his assistant secretary and called Rappler a fake news outlet.
“Alam mo, hindi ako mag-yabang pero bilyonaryo ‘to [Go], sa totoo lang. Punta kayong Davao, tanungin niyo kung sino ‘yan. Itong mga ganito…it seems to appear na intervening because of what? Money? The things that you are telling here never happened,” said Duterte addressing Rappler.
(I will not boast, but this one [Go] is a billionaire. Go to Davao City and ask who he is. It seems to appear that he was intervening. Because of what? Money? The things that you are telling here never happened.)
The President promised to fire Go if Rappler can prove his purported meddling.
“Let me know tomorrow and I will fire him if he did intervene, even for one word,” Duterte said.
In a statement, Go also denied the allegations reported by the online news site. – Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue