DAVAO CITY – Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte is not apologizing for his statement about the corrupt practices in media and even drew the lines that separates media from each other.
Even with the strong condemnation coming from various media groups over his statement on media killings, Duterte says he is just telling the truth.
In a press conference on Tuesday night, May 31, Duterte said most of the journalists who are killed are corrupt.
“Sa karamihan, prangka-prangka, may nagawa yan. Kasi hindi ka naman talaga papatayin dyan kung wala kang ginawa eh (Most of them, just to be frank, has done something. Because you will not be killed if you are not doing anything wrong),” Duterte said.
He said some journalists who were “already paid, but kept on attacking” would really be killed.
3 types of journalists
During his press conference Thursday night, June 2 Duterte said there are “three types of journalists” in the country.
“There are three kinds of journalists in this country. Those who are the crusaders, telling the truth bearing it all before the public,” he said.
He said “crusaders” do not accept money.
“What is very important to them is their profession and telling the truth to the whole world,” he added.
The second type is the “mouthpiece of vested interest” who he also called as the publicist. But among the three, Duterte apparently consider the third type, which is the “low-life” journalist as worst.
He said low-life of journalists accepts money from illegal sources and in return keep silent on issues.
“These are the guys whose greed is unlimited. So they are paid now , then they ask for more and if there is nothing coming their way they take more. They destroy people and their families and they die,” he said.
Duterte said that he is “saying this without excuses”.
“No apologies, no nothing. That’s the truth,” he said.
He said he is not encouraging people to kill journalists but added that if any professional commits “excesses” there will be risk that he will get killed.
“And I’m sure that all the senators, all the congressmen, all the governors and mayors, and councilors in this country would find agreement in my statement. ‘Wag tayong magbolahan, let us not deny each other the truth,” Duterte said.
“It’s better to tell the truth and agree on the truth rather than play bull**** on journalism,” he said.
Duterte also recognized that telling the truth even risk the lives of journalists.
“It’s like a soldier, you join the army then there’s always the chance when you go out for a patrol, you get an encounter, you are killed. In journalism you speak the truth firmly then you invite danger,” he said.
Duterte said he cannot protect all journalists even if he wants to.
“I cannot protect all journalists all over the country,” he said.
Open letter from the media
The members of the national directorate of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines released an open letter to Duterte on Friday urging him to help the media organizations “address the often onerous working conditions faced by so many of our colleagues in the frontlines.”
“The long hours for meager pay and, at times, deliberate orders to violate ethics at the risk of losing their jobs, that can push the desperate and the weak towards becoming, as you say, “vultures.” And yes, lest we forget, also make good on your pledge to end contractualization, which victimizes so many of our colleagues in major outfits, both in the national capital and the provinces,” it said.
The NUJP said it agrees with Duterte that there are “vultures” in the media.
“And yes, hard as it is for many people to believe, we – as an organization – do take efforts to convince colleagues, whether our members or not, that the side of right is, well, always right. Sadly, too, we cannot claim to have been totally successful in this score although this has not stopped us from always trying.”
But the NUJP maintained “that nothing, not corruption, and certainly not truth-telling, can ever justify murder.” (davaotoday.com)