Malacañang defended on Thursday the expletive-laden tirades of President Rodrigo Duterte against the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN, accusing the two media outfits of putting out “slanted” reports against him.
“The President’s remarks on ABS-CBN Corporation and Philippine Daily Inquirer is a complaint against unfairness and are not attacks against Philippine journalism,” Secretary Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, said in a statement.
In two profanity-laced speeches in Malacañang, Duterte described the owners of the Inquirer and ABS-CBN as “oligarchs” and called them the scourges of society.
The president said he could not accept “slanted” reports.
“The President himself agreed with the adversarial (antagonistic using PRRD’s word) role of media as check and balance against government abuses and venalities,” Abella said. “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.”
“The President’s statement is a call for media to be more fair and unbiased,” he added. “After all, nations succeed when all sectors maintain objectivity and fairness as they collaborate in nation building.”
In his speech, Duterte complained about a “slanted” report of the Inquirer on his comments about the poor being killed in his bloody drug war.
“Journalism is always antagonistic, but do not put too much slant [in the reports],” he said. “You smell bad. The Prietos, the Lopezes – you’re full of shit.”
The Prietos own the Inquirer, while the ABS-CBN is under the Lopezes.
In a statement released after Duterte’s speech, the Inquirer said said it had always aimed at “accuracy, fairness and balance in its reporting.”
“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,” the Inquirer said. /atm
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