DAVAO CITY—Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Saturday said media should get used to the style of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to avoid problems.
“Kung masasanay kayo, maiiwasan natin ang miscommunication,” he said, following media uproar against Duterte’s comment that many Filipino journalists were killed because they were corrupt.
Cayetano said Duterte probably felt that it was an “appropriate time” to comment on corruption in media.
“There are good crusading journalists in the country but there are also businessmen who hide behind journalists. There are also businessmen who use journalism. And there is also the illegal trade that uses journalism,” he said.
The senator said the international media may also not understand the context of Duterte’s statement because they only read “portions of the news.”
“Hindi nila nakita yung buong konteksto at anong klaseng public official ang ating Pangulo,” he explained, referring to the boycott call of Reporters Without Borders.
“Hindi sanay ang international media na hindi soundbytes. Hindi sila sanay ng nagdidialogue talaga,” Cayetano said.
He said Duterte shouldn’t be forced into the “internationally accepted norm of acting.”
Cayetano said Duterte would be true to his word that he would have a “metamorphosis” but “he will challenge any accepted norm in Philippine society which harms the people or needs reform.”
He said it was better that Duterte raised the issue while he was still President-elect.
“If he discussed that when he is already in Malacañang, they will say it is an assault on the freedom of the press,” Cayetano said.
Duterte’s decision to halt giving press briefings could also be his way of saying that he would not back out from any challenge, Cayetano said. And that he can work both ways—with limited or complete access to media.
“He will give people what they want. The impression the media gave was … kung ganyan ka ibo-boycott. Eh di okay. Let’s do it (press briefings) sa channel 4 (PTV4),” he said.
Cayetano also said Duterte was not just referring to individual journalists who were corrupt but also to media network owners who have their own biases.
“Pero hindi niya trabaho i-reform ang media pag nasa Palasyo siya because it will be taken as an assault on the journalist and media,” he said.
Cayetano said it was up to media to self-regulate.
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