Roque refuses to publicly apologize to CNN PH reporter

Pia Ranada
Roque refuses to publicly apologize to CNN PH reporter
'Whatever it is I owe Trish, I’ve talked to Trish,' says the Duterte spokesman, who acknowledged his error in attributing the article to reporter Triciah Terada but stopped short of apologizing to her in public

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque refused to issue a public apology to CNN Philippines reporter Triciah Terada after berating her in a press briefing for a story she did not write.

In an interview with ANC anchor Karen Davila, Roque insisted that the CNN Philippines article misquoted him and he held Terada partly responsible because of her job as the news outlet’s Malacañang reporter.

“I think it was very clear. It was a wrong quote, it was a misquote because the context that the mass testing had to do with the Wuhan-type testing was ommitted,” he said on Wednesday morning, May 20.

Roque acknowledged that Terada was not the writer of the article he was so distressed about but did not apologize for erroneously attributing it to her.

Instead, he said it was Terada’s responsibility to correct the story written by her news outfit. However, Terada and CNN Philippines have already said they found nothing wrong with the article because it used a quote from Roque himself.

“I also feel that as the Malacañang reporter, she (Terada) should’ve corrected the story of her news outfit particularly because it’s her beat,” said Roque.

The spokesman also claimed CNN Philippines has “corrected” the article, supposedly an admission that they made a mistake. 

However, the article itself was unchanged. CNN Philippines also issued a statement saying they are standing by the story.

Roque also stated that he messaged Terada privately about the incident, but stopped short of saying he apologized to her.

“Whatever it is I owe Trish, I’ve talked to Trish. Whatever it is that I should do, I’ve done it,” said the Duterte spokesman.

But he refused to give a public apology, a demand made by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

“I don’t owe anything to NUJP; I’ve done work for NUJP. They probably owe me but I don’t owe them,” he said.

Roque was likely referring to his time as a lawyer representing journalists. He has been loudly criticized for sullying his record as a press freedom defender by leading the campaign to villify critical reportage when he became Duterte’s mouthpiece. (READ: Harry Roque pirouettes for Duterte)

Rappler clarified with Roque if he planned to issue a public apology to Terada, but he has not replied as of posting.  – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.