Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has presented proof that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte actually loves the media.
The senator also praised Duterte for not discriminating against journalists who come from small media outlets.
“Naalala niyo sa debate sa Cagayan de Oro, sabi niya kapag hindi niyo pinayagan ang local press sa loob ng debate, hindi siya pupunta? Is that the kind of President na walang pagmamahal sa media?” Cayetano said on Saturday.
(Do you remember the debate in Cagayan de Oro? He said that he would not attend the debate if the local press is not allowed inside. Is that the kind of President who has no love for the media?)
“Maraming pulitiko diyan na kapag wala ang top three channels o diyaryo, hindi na magpe-presscon. Etong Presidenteng ito, bloggers, provincial news outlets, he will spend time with them,” Cayetano explained further.
(There are many politicians who do not like holding a press conference without the top three channels or newspapers. But this president, bloggers, provincial news outlets, he will spend time with them.)
Duterte’s defeated vice presidential running mate is referring to the first debate of the presidential candidates on February 20 held in Cagayan de Oro – which is a part of Mindanao and considered as Duterte’s bailiwick, having served as a mayor in Davao City for many years.
The president-elect is currently having a spat with the media due to his comments about media killings in the Philippines. Duterte said that many of the journalists assassinated in the country deserved to be killed due to alleged involvement in corruption.
Due to the backlash he received for his controversial comments, – which includes a call from an international media group to boycott the president-elect’s news conferences – Duterte announced that he will no longer entertain media interviews until the end of his term.
Duterte’s camp has urged the media to learn how to get used to the president-elect’s comments and not to misinterpret his remarks.