- The President-elect announced he would no longer grant interviews with the press
- He said media boycott would go on “until the end of my term”
- He explained it was better not to give interviews as there would be less criticism
MANILA, Philippines – Amid his ongoing beef with the Philippine media, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said he would no longer grant any interviews or briefings with the press.
In a video posted by TV5 reporter France Noguera on her Facebook, the tough-talking outgoing mayor of Davao City said he is boycotting the media for good.
“Wala. Sorry, ha? Talagang ano ako, boycott talaga, [No. I’m sorry. I’m really going to boycott],” he said. “Until the end of my term.”
“‘Pag interview, maraming mali, marami namang criticism [If there’s an interview, there are many mistakes and a lot of criticism], so better no interview, no criticism, no wrong statement, no nothing,” he added.
Earlier, Duterte’s longtime aide Christopher “Bong” Go said the incoming president will temporarily shelve any engagements with the media. Any statements or briefings, he said, would be coursed through government-owned PTV.
Duterte became embroiled in a word war with several media groups and outlets following his controversial remarks on the killings of journalists he accused of being corrupt.
The tussle became exacerbated even as the mayor was accused of breaking his own anti-harassment law in Davao City by whistling at reporter Mariz Umali — a charge which he denied.
Amid the tiff, many of Duterte’s supporters have rallied to his side and accused the media of being biased. They have also lauded the embattled mayor’s decision to boycott the media.
Known for his tough talk and heavy-handed measures against criminals, Duterte is set to formally assume the presidency on June 30.
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