Manila Times editor resigns over ‘matrix’ story

MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – The managing editor of The Manila Times resigned on Wednesday, April 24, two days after the newspaper owner insisted on publishing a story linking media organizations to an ouster plot against President Duterte.

Felipe “Ipe” Salvosa II tendered his resignation after Times owner and chairman emeritus Dante Ang fumed over Salvosa’s Twitter post questioning the “matrix” story of Ang that identified the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Vera Files, Rappler, and the National Union of People's Lawyers as being involved in a plot to oust Duterte.

Ang asked Salvosa to leave, to which Salvosa said he was ready anyway with his resignation on the day the story came out. 

Salvosa, a journalism professor and coordinator of the journalism program of the University of Santo Tomas, confirmed to Rappler that he had left the Times.

“I want to be able to teach and still look my students straight in the eye,” Salvosa told Rappler on Thursday, April 25.

In his Twitter post on the day the Times came out with Ang's story, Salvosa wrote: "A diagram is by no means an evidence of 'destabilization' or an 'ouster plot.' It is a very huge stretch for anyone to accuse PCIJ, Vera Files and Rappler of actively plotting to unseat the President. I know people there and they are not coup plotters." (READ: False: 'Ouster plot' against President Duterte)

Salvosa said he had protested Ang's unilateral decision to publish the story.

Salvosa was appointed managing editor on July 1, 2016, at the same time that Duterte became president. Prior to this, he had worked with the Manila office of the London-based Financial Times and served as reporter then research head of BusinessWorld for 12 years.

Ang is Duterte's special envoy for international public relations.

It was Ang's son, Times president and CEO Klink Ang, who hired Salvosa for the post. 

Salvosa announced his resignation on Twitter on Thursday, thanking Klink Ang for "the opportunity." 

Salvosa's resignation has reportedly affected other editors in the paper. "There's low morale at the Times desk," said one insider. – Rappler.com