Ledesma: Duterte on media killings

AFTER a protracted interview with Mayor Rodrigo Duterte over so many subjects, what comes out in the media are his blasts on corrupt journalists which, to paraphrase his long take on the issue, are no different from other victims of summary killings because they simply cease to be journalists but paid character assassins and messenger of fallacious propaganda.

As an observer and a chronicler of events that transpired during the campaign period, in not a few instances have I cursed the big media establishments for stonewalling events that deserved front page treatment and TV space.

The huge crowds that attended the Duterte-Cayetano rallies were given few lines in the inside pages while those of the administration bets hogged the headlines.

A few days before elections, the media giants feasted on the “rape joke” and Trillanes' bombshells on Duterte’s fantastic Bank of Philippine Island peso and dollar accounts. The stories, published in bold headlines and unending TV video clips, were all obviously contrived fairy tales most of the documents were apparently manufactured in Claro M. Recto or by the not-so-bright wrecking crew of the senator.

What was startling of it all was when named columnists of both Philippine Star and Philippine Daily Inquirer also feasted on the septic carcass fed to them by Trillanes!

I can only imagine how candidate Duterte felt. What a desperation seeing the lies gobbled up by the media establishments. The mayor was simply lucky that in the process of chopping him to pieces the country’s most respected banking institution, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), is being dragged into perdition.

The media giants can trample on the probinsyano that is Duterte, but neither the banking industry nor the Central Bank would allow that one big deal of black propaganda to wreck their image over the lies that Trillanes and his bosses conjured.

When the issue of media killing was raised during that Tuesday press conference, it only succeeded in triggering Duterte’s otherwise half-buried experience of how journalists and their media establishment treated him. And they got it right on the solar plexus.

I personally knew Duterte to have a very long patience on media criticisms. When his daughter, Inday Sara, ran for city mayor the first time, she was subjected to unconscionable character assassination from the attack dogs of Duterte’s fiercest political adversary.

I do not have the nerve to even spell these out because the issues are blatantly libelous and have no place in journalism. The attack dogs, all block timers, mounted their denigration of Inday in four radio stations every day.

And Mayor Duterte who was running as Vice Mayor was not spared.

His wellspring of patience never ran out. He mentioned, in last Tuesday’s free-wheeling interview, two radio block timers in Davao City who were murdered because they went beyond the bounds of journalistic ethics. I personally knew these two and I fully and sadly agree with the Mayor that indeed, both went berserk in the conduct of their so called “journalistic career”. At the time they were murdered they were not journalists.

Duterte endured their muckraking journalism but cannot help them in their other adventures.
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