- Former Interior secretary Rafael Alunan III criticized media outlets for malicious reporting of Duterte’s controversial remark
- He said these media should be sanctioned for jeopardizing the US-PH diplomatic relation
- He also urged government official to undergo seminar on how to properly handle the press
MANILA, Philippines – Former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Rafael Alunan II has weighed in to the latest controversy over President Rodrigo Duterte’s alleged insult of United States President Barack Obama in recent speech before leaving for Laos on Monday.
In a Facebook post, Alunan said the media should be blamed for its malicious reporting of Duterte’s remarks that has jeopardized the diplomatic relation between the two long-time allies.
“The media that went to town saying that Du30 insulted Pres BHO should be singled out and sanctioned for malice and placing the country’s diplomatic relations with the U.S. at risk,” Alunan wrote.
Alunan called these news outlets as “saboteurs” working under the influence that should be blacklisted.
“Freedom of the press is not freedom to destroy,” Alunan said. “The latter deserves appropriate action in order to deliver unforgettable life lessons and alter behavior.”
On the other hand, Alunan also urged that senior officials must undergo training on how media should be handled and dealt with to avoid a similar problem in the future.
“I hasten to add that all senior officials should undergo a seminar on how to deal with the press, and how press cons and interviews should be managed or handled. First rule, never get baited. Instead be the master baiter,” the former official wrote.
This week, Duterte’s reply to a journalist’s question has caused a ruckus after local and international media quoted him as ‘insulting’ Obama by calling him a “son of a wh*re”.
Netizens immediately came to the defense of the President and heavily criticized the media for ‘twisting’ Duterte’s words and made it appear the curse was directed at the US leader.
Obama, who was informed of the ‘insult’, immediately canceled the scheduled bilateral meeting between him and Duterte. The Philippine president has since apologized, saying his “strong comment” was not meant as a personal attack on his American counterpart.