Duterte says he has lost his trust in Philippine media

Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters during his guesting in the show "Give Us This Day" hosted by Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder and lead pastor, Apollo C. Quiboloy, at the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) Studio in Davao City on June 7, 2019.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte claimed to have completely lost his trust in the media as he chided journalists for picking up what he described as "trash" allegations against his family.

Duterte said he would be choosy in granting media interviews because of reports linking his family to illegal drugs trade.

"Hindi na ako nagpapa-interview ha. Choosy ako, choosy... (I don't grant interviews anymore. I am choosy). I have lost completely trust in the Philippine media," Duterte told religious leader Apollo Quiboloy in an interview aired over Sonshine TV on Saturday.

"After all the trash that you have read, all of you. Even your child is accused of being a drug lord," he added.

Duterte was referring to the allegations of "Bikoy" that his daughter Veronica is benefitting from illegal drugs trade. Peter Advincula, the man who claimed to be "Bikoy," has apologized for linking the Duterte family to narcotics trade. He has claimed he was offered half a million pesos in exchange for producing videos accusing the Duterte family of involvement with illicit drugs. 

Duterte then accused some media practitioners of being paid hacks. 

"They are the ones who can write and they are the ones who can, you know, invent or do something na outside of journalistic practices," he said. 

"Outright extortion. There are a lot of them. As you have noticed in the matrix, the one involving Bikoy. Bikoy has retracted his statements. But the people know it's not true," he added.

He was referring to the matrix linking some media practitioners to the supposed plot to oust Duterte. The matrix, which was released by Malacañang last April, tagged Rappler, Vera Files and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and lawyers group National Union of People's in the supposed ouster plot. Officials have yet to present proof to substantiate the allegations. 

"Never mind about the criticism. With regard to the media, the matrix, all of them are paid hacks, believe me," Duterte said.

Duterte also claimed that Vera Files president and veteran journalist Ellen Tordesillas has been begging money from her sources because she has cancer. 

"Tagal na 'yan sige pang hingi-hingi kasi may sakit daw siya cancer. Hanggang ngayon, buhay pa rin (She has been begging money because she has cancer. Until now, she is alive). So maybe tonight, we can pray together to pray for ano...Para hindi na maghingi (so she won't beg anymore)," Duterte said.  

"When we pray, you pray for help for her recovery. But my prayer would be different ha. And you know, what you are thinking, probably that you'd pay -   

you'd pray would be exactly the opposite of that and that is my fervent...prayer," he added.  Alexis Romero 



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