Drilon: Duterte and media need each other in a democracy

  • Senate President Franklin Drilon said President-elect Duterte and the media should bridge the gap they have between them
  • The senator emphasized the importance of this relationship in a democracy
  • Other senators think it is a good move for Duterte to stop focusing on giving press cons

The gap between President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and the members of the media should be mended soon for “the sake of democracy,” current Senate President Franklin Drilon stated.

“One thing I can say, both the Office of the President and the media need each other,” Drilon said at a news forum in Manila.

This statement came in light of Duterte challenging reporters to stop covering him.

“I am certain that this will come to pass and we will all realize that both media and the Office of the President will have to work with each other for the sake of a democratic system,” Drilon added.

Drilon used to work for the Office of the President as President Corazon Aquino’s executive secretary so he has had his fair share of dealing with members of the press.

Recently, Duterte said he would no longer be giving interviews to the media until the end of his term.

“May interview, maraming mali. Marami na namang criticism, so no interview, no criticism, no wrong statement, no nothing. Shut up. Ayoko na talaga,” he said.

(“If there’s an interview, many things go wrong. There are a lot of criticisms. So no interview, no criticism, no wrong statement, no nothing. Shut up. I really don’t want to do it anymore.”)

Meanwhile, Senator Vicente Sotto III said Duterte’s decision to disallow interviews with him is nothing new.

“Except for very rare occasions, wala namang presidente talaga na madalas mag-presscon e. ‘Yun mga spokesman na lang niya usually (ang nagpe-presscon),” he said in a text message to reporters, such as Amita Legaspi from GMA News.

(“Except for very rare occasions, no president frequently gives press conferences. It’s usually his or her spokesperson that holds the press conferences.”)

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, on the other hand, said refusing interview requests could be better for the President-elect.

“Maybe that’s better para maka-focus na sa trabaho as president. Mahirap din kung maubos ang oras sa presscon,” Angara said in a text message to local reporters.

(“Maybe that’s better so he can focus on his job as the president. That would be difficult to do if he spends most of his time doing press conferences.”)

“If I remember correctly, past presidents before PNoy (President Benigno Aquino III) gave presscons maybe once a week and the rest of the time it was the president’s spokespersons taking care of the media’s concerns,” he added.