By Gigie R. Arcilla for MindaVote
President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte lamented the fact that corruption also exists in the ranks of journalists and challenged media practitioners to expose the practice.
“Hindi lang pulis ang binibigyan. Kumokolekta din ang ibang taga media (It’s not just the police who receive bribes. Even those from media collect money),” Duterte said.
“Karamihan sa mga napapatay, sa totoo lang may nagawa yan sila (na hindi maganda) (In truth, most of the journalists who have been killed were guilty of some wrongdoing),” he added.
Speaking during a press briefing after meeting with appointed Cabinet members at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)11 compound, the Davao City mayor said a journalist would not be killed if he has not offended someone.
Most of victims of media killings, he said, had received bribe money from certain individuals to take their side.
Some, he added, received money but still continued attacking the people who gave them money. “Tumatanggap sa mga sugarol tapos bira pa din (They took money from gamblers but they still attacked them),” he said.
“There are even journalists who give protection to illegal miners in Diwalal,” Duterte said, referring to the gold-rich mountain in Monkayo, Compostela Valley province.
He also challenged media practitioners to expose corruption within their ranks. “You know those journalists who are receiving money from unscrupulous miners. Why don’t you expose them?” he said.
Duterte said the late Jun Pala was the best example of why journalists are killed. Pala was a Davao City-based broadcaster who was ambushed in 2003.
“I don’t demean his memory but he was a rotten son of a b _ h. Bin
Duterte refused to elaborate but washed his hands of killing.
Asked if being a crooked journalist is reason to be killed, Duterte said: “You have to debate with the killer, not me.”
Duterte, who will be taking oath as the 16th president of the country on June 30, reminded journalists not to make it appear that victims of media killings are clean.
“Most of you are clean but not all are clean. Karamihan nabayaran na or takes sides, or nasobrahan ang atake (Most are paid or take sides, or go overboard in attacking). Some are getting into the personal affairs,” he added.
Duterte also said being a journalist does not exempt one from from assassination.
“The freedom of expression cannot help a journalist if she/he has done something wrong. Kung papatayin ka talaga, papatayin ka (If they want to kill you, they will kill you). There is no way to know that the next victim would be a journalist,” he said.
As for himself, Duterte said he does not mind being attacked by the media. “Yung mga exposé and bad words against us, wala sa akin ‘yan because I’ve been mayor for many years,” he said. –– Gigie R. Arcilla for MindaVote