MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte called certain media entities "bastos" (rude) for writing supposedly unfair news about him and for supposedly acting for the vested interests of their owners.
He lashed out specifically at newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer and television network ABS-CBN and their owners, the Prietos and Lopezes, respectively.
In a thinly veiled threat, he said karma is sure to catch up with the two media groups.
"Tingnan kung magslant. Ewan ko ba. But someday – hindi ko tinatakot – but someday, 'yung karma, dadating 'yan," said Duterte.
(See how they slant. I don't know. But someday – I'm not scaring them – but someday, karma will come.)
"Inquirer, mga bullshit kayo, pati 'yang ABS-CBN, basura 'yang inano ninyo. Dapat may magsabi sa inyo ngayon, mga putang-ina ninyo, sinobrahan 'nyo ang kalokohan ninyo," he said during a speech on Thursday, March 30, during the oath-taking of government officials in Malacañang.
(Inquirer, you are bullshit, also ABS-CBN, you publish trash. Someone should tell you, "You are sons of bitches, you went too far in your nonsense.")
In a response sent to media on Thursday, the Inquirer said it "took exception" to Duterte's allegations.
"Since its founding in 1985, the Inquirer has upheld the highest standards of excellence in journalism. Even as we've courageously pursued the truth in our coverage, we've endeavored to get the administration's side of any controversy," said executive editor Jose Nolasco.
Duterte called out the influential families who own the media entities, calling them "oligarchs, elites" who use their media ownership to publish inaccurate news.
"Babaho ninyo mga Prieto, mga Lopez. You're full of shit," said the President, in a 2nd speech on Thursday. (You stink, you Prietos, Lopezes. You're full of shit.)
"Itong mga oligarchs, pati itong mga elite, mga putang-ina ninyo. If your candidate loses, you become virulent. Noong election, Inquirer, pati ABS, mukhang pera kayo eh," he said.
(You oligarchs, you elite, you sons of bitches. If your candidate loses, you become virulent. During the elections, the Inquirer, even ABS, you're just after money.)
He claimed he never accepted campaign money from the two families.
While he understands that it is media's job to be "antagonistic," he thinks the Inquirer and ABS-CBN have gone "too far."
Specifically, he blasted the Inquirer for claiming he ordered the killing of the poor. The newspaper, he said, often slants what he says and does not include his entire sentences in their articles.
"Look at Inquirer, I am saying, they are the ones who said I order the deaths of the poor. You know, yesterday, the Inquirer published two bullshit articles, those sons of bitches," he said.
The President also has a beef with articles and reports about his alleged secret bank accounts with P211 million and speculations about his health.
"There are so many speculations there that I am sick. Why, your grandfather didn't die? You fools, sons of bitches. You Prietos, Lopezes, did your grandfather live forever? You're crazy," said Duterte.
He made another threat against the Inquirer and ABS-CBN.
"Huwag 'nyo masyado sobrahan (Don't overdo it), but I will give you your dues also. Kayo kaya, kung kalkalin ko mga buhay ninyo, mga anak ninyo (What if I were to dig into your life, your children's life)?" said Duterte.
Seemingly half in jest, the President said he would use state-owned channel PTV4 to air his curse-laden responses to articles or reports he finds unfair.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) called out Duterte's rant as a "brazen abuse of your immense power as chief executive of this land and only shows how little, if any, appreciation you have of democracy and governance." – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.