|Photo by GMA Network|
After blaming the media for strong comments and misleading headlines that sparked a diplomatic row between the Philippines and the United States, President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said that he was not harboring anger towards the Philippine media.
"I am not at liberty to be angry at anybody. It is your sworn duty to ask questions.Wala akong galit sa inyo," he told reporters in Davao City after his arrival from Laos and Indonesia.
Before attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) assembly, Duterte uttered a curse word in his departure speech which media reported to be directed at US president Barack Obama.
This prompted Obama to cancel a planned meeting with Duterte.
Duterte initially blamed the sensationalism on “media spin” but now claims it was not the fault of the press. He however, insisted that the curse word was not pointed at Obama.
“I was here, you were here, I never attributed any statement to anybody. I was complaining about a situation but I never directed any statement at anybody that was insulting or otherwise not good,” he said.
“I do not aspire to be a character, but you know very well I did not attribute it to anybody. I said, don’t do that lest we end up insulting each other. I never mentioned any particular (name), I hope they realize it by now,” he said.
“Unfortunately, that breaking news item was written in error and is not accurate. The President did not call Obama bastos. What he said in his ambush interview in Laos was that it would be ‘improper and highly bastos’ to bring up the issue of (extrajudicial killings) during the bilateral meet. As I understand it, TV5 officials are now looking into how this error was made,” Lingao said.
Duterte said he had accepted Lingao’s apology.
“And he should not worry because sometimes you commit errors. No question about it. If the others interpret it the way they want, that’s their problem. After all, I am not a player at the international community. I only answer to the Filipino people,” the President said.
“You know, people commit mistake(s), some with malice, some without malice. If it is just a mere shortfall of talent (it’s all right) … but I appreciate (Lingao’s) apology. I would like to presume you did it without malice because that’s your job,” he said.
Mr. Duterte said the media could criticize him all they wanted and he would not care.
“You can destroy me, attack me, criticize me,” he said, adding that journalists should “not hesitate to attack or criticize (him) if (he) does wrong in (his) job.”
“It is your duty to the country,” he said.
Duterte to media: No anger towards you, people commit mistakes Reviewed by FNPH Correspondent on Sunday, September 11, 2016 Rating: