MANILA, Philippines – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) responded on Friday, February 9, to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s assertion that mainstream media did not report the truth, calling Roque a “fake news peddler.”
In a statement released on Facebook, NUJP said Roque “completed his metamorphosis from a lawyer who built his reputation as a defender of freedom of the press and of expression, into a true blue peddler of ‘fake news’ when he knowingly mouthed the canard that mainstream media ‘does not report the truth,’ thus driving people to seek the truth in liars like him!”
Roque spoke with Duterte supporter Franco Mabanta in a February 7 interview live streamed on social media.
The presidential spokesman said during the interview, “The reason why social media in the Philippines, the DDS (Duterte Diehard Supporters) has grown as big as it is, is in reaction to the fact that traditional media really does not report the truth.”
He added this was why the government had to turn to supportive bloggers. (READ: If there’s no fake news, we wouldn’t know what’s true – Roque)
NUJP added Roque “has acquired a penchant for accusing media of making him look bad by doing what they ought to – reporting his pronouncements accurately with the proper context and background.” (READ: Roque says remarks on Benham Rise research misunderstood)
The journalists’ organization added, “There can be no worse spokesman than one who cannot talk straight then blames the messenger for his muddled message.” (READ: Roque: One day, we’ll thank China for artificial islands)
While the NUJP admits media is not infallible, miscues are inadvertent and corrected with the proper apologies issued. “The bulk of media content is as accurate as the rigorous vetting stories are subjected to can be,” it said. – Rappler.com