TRANSCRIPT: Did Rappler ‘misrepresent’ Malacañang statement?

Paterno Esmaquel II
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella accuses Rappler of 'misrepresenting' Malacañang's statement on the wrong information fed to President Duterte about the EU. Here is the relevant portion of the transcript provided by Malacañang.

WRONG INFORMATION. President Rodrigo Duterte on October 12, 2017, threatens to expel EU diplomats based on the wrong information. Malacañang photo

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella hit Rappler on Friday evening, October 13, for allegedly “misrepresenting” Malacañang’s statement on the wrong information received by President Rodrigo Duterte on the European Union.

This is what we reported in the first 3 paragraphs of our story titled, “Malacañang admits Duterte ‘being fed wrong info’ on EU:

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang admitted that President Rodrigo Duterte was “being fed the wrong information” after the Chief Executive threatened to expel European diplomats based on the wrong premise.

Because Duterte’s statement was based on wrong information, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella then clarified on Friday, October 13, that “there’s no directive” for ambassadors of the European Union (EU) to leave the Philippines within 24 hours.

“It’s not a question of being misinformed. That means to say he was being fed the wrong information,” Abella said in a press briefing on Friday.

You may read the full Rappler story here.

Here is the unedited full text of Abella’s statement on the Rappler story:

From the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson –
On Rappler’s misrepresenting Malacanang statement 

Rappler in its article, “Malacanang Admits Duterte Being Fed Wrong Info on EU,” dated October 13, brazenly misrepresents Spokesperson Ernesto Abella’s explanation that the President was responding to media’s false report of the fake “EU Mission”.

It is this kind of journalism that reinforces the perception that Rappler has a hidden agenda. One that is far from the truth.

Here is the unedited portion of the official Malacañang transcript upon which we based our story. This is the exchange between GMA-7 reporter Joseph Morong, Abella, and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. 

Mr. Morong: So sir, uhm sir, ibig bang sabihin niyan, medyo misinformed si Presidente?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s not a question of being misinformed. Basically, ‘yun ang… Come again?

Mr. Morong: Misled siguro by certain reports?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Basically, he was reacting to what he was reading, okay. He was reacting to what he was reading and… So it’s not a question of being misinformed. That means to say he was being fed the wrong information, but based on…

SEC. LOPEZ: Kung ano ‘yung nasa news. Frankly, kami rin eh. Ako, when I saw that, “Ba’t ito na naman ‘to? Sino ‘to?” Kasi, nung – when we talked to the guys in the EU, hindi naman ganyan ‘yung dating nila, ‘yung approach nila eh. Parang tingin ko nga, somebody asked them to come over at manggalit eh, you know?

We stand by our story. –

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at