[Philippines] The President and the Press: A Timeline of Hostilities Against the Media

Originally published on the PCIJ website on 4 May 2019.

 

BY ALL indications, President Rodrigo R. Duterte has no love lost for independent and critical media.

In about two dozen times in his 34 months in office, he has openly expressed his displeasure and disaffection, and in rancorous prose called journalists names and foisted threats both veiled and naked against certain media agencies.

In his own words, here’s a timeline of the things that President Duterte has said about the press.

 

 

May 31, 2016
“Just because you are a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination, if you are a son of a b****.”
Duterte during a press briefing in Davao City days after he was declared President-elect.

June 4, 2016
“If I tell you, ‘What’s the condition of your wife’s vagina?’ Well??”
Duterte during his victory party in Davao City, calling out Karlos Manlupig of the Philippine Daily Inquirer when it was actually Dennis Santos who had asked him about his health.

July 25, 2016
Eh tapos nandiyan ka nakabulagta and you are portrayed in a broadsheet na parang Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ. Eh ‘yan yang mga ‘yan magda-dramahan tayo dito.”  (And then you’re sprawled [across the pavement] and you are portrayed in a broadsheet like Mother Mary cradling the dead cadaver of Jesus Christ. You’re all full of drama.)
Duterte on the Inquirer during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

September 9, 2016
“When they are after you, they make it appear to be the worst of you. Kaya ako, bantay sa press. They can spin everything.” (When they are after you, they make it appear to be the worst of you. That’s why I keep an eye on the press. They can spin everything.)
Duterte, speaking before the Filipino community in Indonesia.

 

 

March 30, 2017

“Because you know journalism is so… It’s always antag – antagonistic ‘yan eh. That’s their role. Pero huwag ninyong sobrahan ‘yan ‘yung slant. Napakabaho naman ninyo kayong mga Prieto, kayong mga Lopez. You’re full of s***.” (Because you know journalism is so… It’s always antagonistic. That’s their role. But don’t push, that’s the slant. These Prietos, these Lopezes, they reek of…you’re full of s***.)
President Rodrigo Duterte during the Awarding of the Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs at Malacañang Palace.

March 31, 2017
“If you keep listening to this itong mga basura ng media particularly Inquirer, pati ABS-CBN. Ah putang-ina, kalokohan.” (If you keep listening to these garbage by the media particularly the Inquirer, also ABS-CBN’s. Ah, son of a bitch, nonsense.)
Duterte during the Digong’s Day for Women in Malacañang.

April 4, 2017
“Kaya sinasabi ko diyan sa Inquirer, huwag kayong magbasa niyan, basura ‘yan. Iyan si Prieto, Prieto mukha ni Prieto. The owner? Kita mo mukhang pera. And just like ABS-CBN. You’re all bunch of shit.” (I tell you, this Inquirer, don’t read it, it’s garbage. That Prieto, Prieto’s face. The owner looks greedy. And just like ABS-CBN. You’re all a bunch of shit.)
Duterte during the inauguration of the Metro Manila Crisis Monitoring Management Center.

April 12, 2017
“So when I go back (to the Philippines), I will raise hell. Kayong mga Inquirer, kayong mga crusaders kuno. Gusto ninyo tama lahat pero kayo hindi nagbabayad.” (So when I go back to the Philippines, I will raise hell. That Inquirer, acting like crusaders, you all like to be right and yet you don’t pay [taxes].)
Duterte speaking to the Filipino community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during his state visit

May 16, 2017
“So what is your moral authority to tell us, what to do, ‘yung mga programa ninyo? Editorial criticizing us. Who would ever believe you? So I told the Filipino community, huwag kayong magbasa niyang Inquirer pati ABS-CBN.” (So what is your moral authority to tell us, what to do, your programs? Editorial criticizing us. Who would ever believe you? So I told the Filipino community, don’t read that Inquirer and also ABS-CBN.)
Duterte upon arrival from his visits to Cambodia, Hong Kong, and China

May 19, 2017
“Press freedom, press freedom kayo ‘yung number one magnanakaw, ayaw niyo isaulo ‘yung propiedad, press freedom. Kami? How about our freedom? We have our freedom of expression, to express our anger and that is my constitutional right. You, you’re bitches. You, mukha kayong pera, kakapal ng mukha ninyo. Kayong taga-media. You want to know my sentiments? Fuck you.” (Press freedom, press freedom, but you’re the number one thief. You don’t behave with propriety, press freedom. Us? How about our freedom? We have our freedom of expression, to express our anger and that is my constitutional right. You, you’re bitches. You, you’re greedy, you’re full of yourselves. All of you in the media. You want to know my sentiments? Fuck you.)
Duterte speaking to soldiers in Davao City.

 

 

July 1, 2017
Ila pa ang taxes. Kanang mga tag-iya ng Inquirer kaya… pero kung magsalita kayo kontra sa akin, akala ‘nyo sino ang malinis. Kayo ang mga tulisan (The taxes are theirs. The owners of Inquirer. But when you speak against me, it’s like you’re the ones who are clean. You are the thief).”
Duterte during 50th founding anniversary of Davao del Norte in Tagum City

July 17, 2017
“These newspaper owners, who do they think they are? The way they editorialize people in government saying they are thieves…. You have hostaged a government property for so long a time and collected the rentals there. That is swindling.” 
Duterte accuses the Prietos of swindling at the oath-taking of new government appointees at Malacañang Palace

July 24, 2017
“Have you tried to pierce your identity? And I would lead you to America. Do you know that? And yet the Constitution requires you to be 100-percent media, Filipino. Rappler tried to pierce the identity, and you will end up American ownership.”
Duterte, during his State of the Nation Address.

October 12, 2017
“Never confuse your search for answers with the need to engage the public through sensationalized news and over-publicizing political propaganda.”
Duterte at the relaunching of the Malacañang Press Briefing Room

 

 

January 16, 2018
“Listen very carefully. ‘Yung, ‘yung release ninyo. We never had a hand and I don’t give a s*** if you continue or not continue with your network.” (Listen very carefully. Your releases. We never had a hand and I don’t give a s*** if you continue or not continue with your network.)
Duterte to Rappler during the inauguration of the new communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management systems.

“Since you are a fake-news outlet then I am not surprised that your articles are also fake,” 
Duterte referring to Rappler.

February 22, 2018
“Because it is not a legitimate agency according to SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), so I am now invoking executive action based on the SEC ruling, na kung sabihin na sila, legitimate sila, pasok kayo uli. Walang problema sa akin ‘yan. But unless hindi ka legitimate, hindi naman Pilipino pala ang may-ari. Eh bawal ‘yan eh,”

“Baka CIA-sponsored, e bawal yan,” (Because it is not a legitimate agency according to Securities and Exchange Commission, so I am now invoking executive action based on the SEC ruling, if you say you’re legitimate, just come back. I’d have no problem with that. But unless you’re not legitimate, you’re not owned by Filipino. That’s illegal.)

(President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he was just “invoking executive action” when he ordered the ban on all Rappler reporters from covering the Office of the President.)

March 1, 2018
“Mahirap kasi ‘pag palabas ‘yan, kita mo ‘yung mga newspaper, mga Rappler. Iba itong speech ko ngayon. Bukas, iba ang presentation niyan. Kaya bawal ngayon sila,” (What’s difficult with their releases, look at those newspapers, Rappler. My speech today would be different with tomorrow’s news. That’s why I’ve prohibited [their coverage].)
Duterte said he banned Rappler from Malacañang because it ‘twists’ what he says in speeches during a SWAT event in Davao City.

August 3, 2018
“Now, ABS-CBN, their franchise is due for renewal… But I will never also intervene. But if I had my way, I will not give it back to you.”
Duterte during a speech during the opening of a drug rehabilitation facility in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

October 4, 2018
“Kung mag-criticize sa atin sa gobyerno, akala mo mga — we are brigands. P*** sila nga ‘yung — ABS, remember during the time of Marcos, Lopez group of companies borrowed heavily from DBP. Sikat ‘yang DBP noon. P***** i**, at the end of the day, kinondone ‘yung utang. Kaya dumive (dive) ‘yung DBP. [The way they criticize the government, you’d think we are brigands. Son of a b*tch. Remember during the time of Marcos, Lopez group of companies borrowed heavily from DBP. DBP was famous then. Son of a b*tch, at the end of the day, the loans were condoned. DBP nose-dived],”
President Duterte, before an assembly of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. in Malacañang.

November 8, 2018
“Hindi ko palusutin. Iyong franchise niyo matatapos. But let me ask you questions first. Kasi ako talaga mag-object na ma-renew kayo. Alam mo bakit? Magnanakaw kayo, estapador.” (I won’t allow your franchise to be renewed. But let me ask you questions first. Because I’ll be the first to object the renewal of your franchise. You know why? Because you’re thieves, swindlers.)
Duterte on ABS-CBN while he was in Boracay to distribute land titles to Aklan’s Indigenous People.

 

March 20, 2019
“Yung malisya nila, kasi ayaw ninyo ako maging presidente. Kasi kayong mga mayaman, may mga newspaper, mga UP graduates kayo, ‘yong mga commentator, sila ang may ari […] kasi in the first place, you did not want me.”
“Because I do not belong to any of the ruling elite in this country. P*tang ina I am not your president, manigas na kayo. Para sa tao ako, kasi ang tao ang nagboto sa akin.” 
(Your malice is, you don’t want me to be president. Because you are all rich, you have your newspapers, you graduated from the University of the Philippines, the commentators, your owners, in the first place, you did not want me. Because I do not belong to any of the ruling elite in this country. Son of a b*tch I am not your president, you can freeze to death. I am for the people, because the people voted for me.)
Duterte, during the PDP-Laban’s campaign sortie in Marikina

April 6, 2019
“So ‘yung… Makita mo ‘yung utak ng mga investigative journalism kaya… Pera-pera lang. Binabayaran ‘yan kung ganun kalaki. Pati nung lawyering ko.”  (So you see… the thinking behind investigative journalism… it’s all about money. They get paid a lot. It’s been that way even in my lawyering days.)
Duterte on PCIJ during the 25th annual convention of the National Federation of Motorcycle Clubs in the Philippines in Iloilo.

April 14, 2019
“Isulti ko na karong pila ka adlaw. Huwat lang mo. Ayaw gyud mo’g tuo nga kaning mga taga-Manila. Og kamo, anak mo’g pobre unya mga baho mo’g ilok kay wa mo’y kwarta, mas baho pa siguro nang inyong – ayaw gani mo’g inarte. Sige lang kay naa ko’y ipagawas pud kontra nila. Makit-an ninyo. Abi ra’g kamo ra (I will spill the beans one of these days. Just wait. Do not ever believe those from Manila. And you who are children of poor parents and your armpits smell, don’t be pretentious. One of these days I will let out something against them. You will see. You’re not the only one).” 
Duterte warning media practitioners at a rally of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan in Bukidnon province.

April 17, 2019
“Bayad ‘yan lahat. Kasi itong mga p***** i**** ‘to, kung ang negosyo lang nila magsulat-sulat lang, mga pulubi kayo sa totoo lang. Hindi kayo makabili ng mga kotse, mga ganun. P*** mapupunta pa kayo doon sa mga — kay Belo nagpaganda. Saan niyo kunan ng pera? Milyonaryo kayo?” (They are all paid. All of these s*ns of b*tch*s, if your only business is writing, you would all be beggars. You would not be able to afford cars, and the like. Wh*re you would visit Belo [cosmetic dermatology and surgery] to be beautiful. Where did you get the money? Are you all millionaires?)
Duterte on PCIJ, during a speech in Batangas City.

 

– Timeline compiled by the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility (CMFR), 3 May 2019

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