By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte on Tuesday slammed Rappler, tagging it a “fake news outlet” that operates using foreign money.
A fuming President Duterte accused Rappler of going too far in attacking people, especially those in government, “in the name of the holy grail of press freedom.”
“You are a fake news outlet then I am not surprised that your articles are also fake,” the President said during a press conference in Pasay City where a Rappler reporter was first to ask him a question.
“Sumobra kayo [You’ve gone overboard]. You’re not only throwing toilet paper. You’re throwing sh*t at us,” the President added.
Duterte argued that Rappler’s articles, such as the report about his assistant Christopher Go’s alleged intervention in a Navy weapon supplier procurement, were filled “with innuendos and pregnant with falsity.”
The President likewise lashed out at Rappler for allowing foreigners to have control over its company despite a constitutional prohibition against foreign ownership in media.
“You were funded by foreign money. Are you not ashamed of that?… You have the money and that ‘yung Rappler mo was being funded by a foreigner and you had the gall to attack people using foreign money,” said Duterte, who inaugurated a new air traffic management system in Pasay City.
SEC recently revoked the incorporation papers of Rappler for violating a constitutional prohibition limiting mass media ownership exclusively to Filipinos. Rappler however deplored the SEC order as government harassment on press freedom.
The President, however, dispelled allegations that the government was harassing Rappler through the securities watchdog.
“We never had a hand and I don’t give a sh*t if you continue or not continue with your network,” he said.
“The issue is not press freedom, the issue is abuse of the elite and those in power,” he added.
The President insisted that he hardly knows the SEC commissioners, saying he appointed only one of the commissioners in the agency.
“Remember that the composition of SEC ngayon is puro Aquino ‘yan. There are about five, I only appointed one. So how could it be political?” he asked. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)