Friday , June 22, 2018

Palace questions NY Times' interest in covering PH drug war

MALACAÑANG questioned Tuesday the newspaper New York Times' (NYT) consistent reporting on the Philippines’ bloody war on illegal drugs, despite the United States (US) having its “own bunch of problems.”

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said it is becoming evident that the NYT’s “focus and attention” is on the Philippines.

“Like I said earlier, it’s too much of a coincidence that all of these things are happening all of the same time,” Abella told a press conference, referring to the series of NYT reports on drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“That particular newspaper for example, in a normal course of events, would sequence its reports on certain topics. However, there seems to be a lot of focus and attention on the Philippines. They do have their own bunch of problems by the way in the US. I mean, they can readily well attend to it,” he added.

In a span of one week, the New York-based publication released its investigative pieces, highlighting Duterte’s rise to power and his war on drugs that has led to the killing of more than 7,000 people by police and vigilantes.

Abella then concluded that the Chief Executive’s political rivals launched a “well-funded” campaign to pay NYT's “hack writers” focused on damaging his reputation to ensure his ouster from presidency.

Abella said the move to remove the President from office seems to be “orchestrated," stressing the “sudden rash of attention on the Philippine situation” given by the NYT.

He cited that Duterte's "positive and encouraging" meeting with US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim at the presidential guesthouse in Davao City last Monday contradicts the NYT's opposition to the current administration.

“It’s beyond the scope of the New York Times to be able to make comments like that, considering example, that the meeting with ambassador (Kim) [on Monday] with the President, it’s very positive and encouraging. And in fact, they were pointing out, they were actually appreciative,” the presidential spokesman said.

“So if you’re talking about the actual government of the US, we seem to have a solid relationship. But when people like, media like this (NYT) made comments like that, they’re simply coming from the far, left side, you know, and it’s just curious,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)