MANILA, Philippines – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque should apologize to CNN Philippines and its reporter Triciah Terada for berating her on Tuesday, May 19.
During the live briefing, Roque singled out Terada for coming out with a supposedly misleading report, referring to a story headlined “Up to private sector to carry out mass testing, Roque says amid limited testing capacity.”
“Hindi po mass testing ang ginagawa natin, it is expanded targeted testing…I have to call you out at ikaw lang ang nag-report ng ganyan,” Roque said.
(We are not doing mass testing. What we are doing is expanded targeted testing. I have to call you out. You are the only who carried that kind of story.)
NUJP described the act as “boorish and, as it turned out, misbegotten tirade.”
Contrary to what the presidential spokesperson claimed, however, other news organizations such as Rappler, Inquirer, and Philstar ran similar stories. As Terada also pointed out during the briefing, she was not the one who wrote the CNN Philippines story which caught Roque’s ire.
“Officials who earn public ire for their pronouncements should not blame journalists who are merely doing their jobs,” NUJP said.
In a statement, CNN Philippines stood by its story and said that they accurately reported and quoted Roque’s remarks.
“It is likewise regrettable that Ms. Terada was not given a chance to challenge the allegations made against her and defend herself from the public attack that could harm her reputation as a journalist and a professional,” CNN Philippines added. – Rappler.com