Duterte: PTV4 won't be used for propaganda, personal gain
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said that state-run television channel PTV4 will not be used by him or other government officials for propaganda or personal gain.
"What I can assure you during my time is this: There will never be a time that I will use PTV4 or its allied services there for my personal [use]. Hindi ko na kailangan (I don't need it)," Duterte said after the inauguration of PTV4 Cordillera Hub in Baguio City.
The President added that he doesn't want government officials to think of PTV4 as a "cannon" to lambast political enemies or a propaganda tool to cover up wrongdoing. "That is the least of what we expect of this."
Duterte said, "I won't allow it to anybody. Maybe if you want to issue a statement in connection with what you do, especially if you're about to be criticized or being criticized or having been criticized, and you want to answer. Fair chance, the right to be heard."
The President also said that he is ready to grant government communications facilities like PTV4 the degree of freedom. "Bitawan namin kayo (We will let you go), and act just like a private [corporation]."
"And your template is BBC," said the President, referring to the public service broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation which enjoys editorial independence even if it is funded by fees that the UK government collects from citizens and corporations.
He emphasized that public funds are used to run PTV4. "The people just like to see what's happening in this planet. They want to hear their countrymen," Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino.
He even invited members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army (NPA) to use PTV4 to discuss their agenda.
"The NPA? We'll give you the space. To the Cordillera guys [rebels], well, come down. No need really to fight," he said. "Use it [PTV4]. It's the people's money. And the people would gladly hear you."
In the same speech, he condemned the NPA's attack in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, where 4 policemen were killed. – Rappler.com