Duterte threatens to humiliate news outlets for drug reports

Duterte threatens to humiliate news outlets for drug reports

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine president unleashed an expletive-laden tirade Thursday against the country’s leading newspaper and TV network and threatened to humiliate them and their owners, whom he accused of distorting his anti-drug crackdown.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s outburst against the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN TV network in a nationally televised speech prompted a media watchdog group to call him a “petty tyrant, who mistakenly believes public office is an entitlement that allows you to flaunt the laws of the land.”

Duterte, who has had a thorny relationship with journalists, complained that his anti-drug campaign has been portrayed as targeting the poor. He also was incensed about accounts of his alleged corruption, saying he will resign if reports of undeclared bank deposits are proven.

Calling the owners of the Inquirer and ABS-CBN “fools,” Duterte threatened to curse them and use the state-owned TV network to ridicule them “to get even.”

“There are press (people) who are sons of bitches and who know nothing but lies,” he said in a speech at the oath-taking of government officials at Manila’s presidential palace.

Presidential palace staffers deleted the expletives and curses in an official transcript of the speech they sent to news agencies.

Duterte’s crackdown, which has left thousands of mostly petty drug suspects dead, has alarmed Western governments and prompted U.N. rights officials to consider an investigation.

Duterte, who has denied condoning extrajudicial killings but has repeatedly threatened drug suspects with death, has lashed out at the U.S., EU and other critics.

The 72-year-old leader, who won the presidency last year after serving as a city mayor for two decades, also fumed about news reports that speculated about the nature of his illnesses, and suggested that older people naturally develop health problems. He became visibly infuriated over a picture of him in his bedroom with an oxygen machine.

Duterte has acknowledged suffering from illnesses linked to smoking and a motorcycle accident in the past, but has refused to issue a detailed statement on his health.

Philippine Daily Inquirer Executive Editor Jose Ma. Nolasco said in a statement that it has been fair in its coverage of Duterte and his administration and has always included his side in any controversy. He said the newspaper runs a column on its opinion page in which Cabinet officials expound on government policies.

There was no immediate statement from ABS-CBN.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said Duterte’s “foul-mouthed rant” against the two major news organizations “was absolutely twisted,” adding it was the president who was rude and abusive.

“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,” the group said.

It said Duterte’s curses and threats would not prevent Filipino journalists from doing their work.

Jim Gomez, The Associated Press

Just Posted

No lawyer for man involved in Rutland crime spree

Stephen Ear Skinner had his court date moved to July 9

Kelowna releases road closures, events and schedule for Canada Day

Folkfest, protein drums and fireworks, hoorah!

Downtown mural on the walls of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission to be unveiled

The event will be held at the Innovation Centre June 28

Big changes to food services at UBC Okanagan

Healthy, high-quality food on the menu as UBCO staffs up for in-house operations

Rockets’ Foote signs entry deal with new NHL team

Foote was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 21

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

HIV tests now part of most Emergency Department blood work

There are up to 15 per cent of “HIV-positive individuals who are unaware of their HIV status.”

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Man charged in Salmon Arm church shooting returns to court

Provincial Court judge allows two-week adjournment in murder, assault changes

North Okanagan student relearns how to take steps forward

The Vernon Convocation starts at 4:30 p.m. at the Vernon campus, OC Facebook to stream event

Tolko donation helps build new Okanagan daycare

The Early Years Daycare Centre is scheduled to open at the end of summer 2019

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Tsilhqot’in Nation urges Taseko Mines to stop drilling plans before conflict grows

Nation said Teztan Biny area is of ‘profound cultural and spiritual importance’

UPDATE: RCMP expect Highway 1 closure west of Salmon Arm to be lengthy

Police collision analysis and reconstruction investigating accident scene

Most Read