VIDEO: Duterte to “boycott” media until his term ends

MANILA, Philippines - Following the controversy surrounding his remarks about the killing of journalists in the Philippines, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he would no longer grant interviews to avoid “wrong statements” and criticisms.

Duterte to “boycott” media until his term ends
The next Philippine president will no longer be granting interviews and press briefings to minimize mistakes and criticisms.  PHOTO CREDIT: France Noguera
On Monday, June 6, TV 5 reporter France Noguera posted a video of Duterte's interview at the Hotel Elena in Davao City on Sunday: “Wala. Sorry, ha? Talagang ano ako, boycott talaga," the tough-talking Duterte said.

When asked why he is adopting such stance, Duterte replied: “If there are interviews, there will be many mistakes, there will be many criticisms. So no interview, no criticism, no wrong statements, no nothing.”

Duterte also clarified that the boycott would stand until the end of his term.

Christopher Go, the incoming president’s executive assistant, previously told the media that there would be no more press briefings with Duterte. Instead of engaging with the press, announcements and releases would be channelled through state-owned television station PTV-4.

The statement came after Duterte made pronouncements about media killings in the Philippines, which is considered as one of the most dangerous countries for journalist.

During a press conference in Davao City on May 31, Duterte said: "Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won't be killed if you don't do anything wrong…. That can't be just freedom of speech. The Constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person. ”

Duterte also earned the ire of netizens after he was caught on camera wolf-whistling at GMA reporter Mariz Umali. However, the outgoing mayor of Davao City defended himself and insisted that it was not a sexual act.

Duterte, who served as Davao City’s mayor for almost three decades, is known for his good relationship with journalists in his city but his latest statements were criticized by both local and international media groups.

While the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemned his remarks, international watchdog Reporters Without Borders threatened to boycott Duterte’s press conference until he apologizes for his statements.

Unfazed by the threat, Duterte urged members of the media to boycott him and stressed that he won’t apologize for his statements.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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