COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is not completely convinced by the "Oust Duterte matrix" published by Manila Times alleging certain media entities are behind the "Bikoy" videos that accuse Duterte family members and Bong Go of links to illegal drugs.
Rather than make conclusions about the matrix, the presidential daughter said the maker of the matrix should come out in the open.
"Hindi ko alam. Mas maganda siguro kung lalabas 'yung source, kung sino 'yung source na gumawa ng matrix," she said on Monday, April 22, in Cotabato City.
(I don't know. Maybe it's better if the source who released it, the source who made the matrix, comes out.)
Sara was also not ready to conclude that the Bikoy videos were a coordinated effort by certain media entities – journalist Ellen Tordesillas, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Rappler, among others – to oust Duterte, as alleged by the matrix.
"Hindi ko alam kung concerted 'yung effort but alam niyo, let's give the media entities the benefit of [the] doubt, kung ano 'yung sa tingin nila ang karapat-dapat isulat, karapat-dapat na ibalita sa mga tao," she said.
(I don't know if there was concerted effort but, you know, let's give the media entities the benefit of the doubt, what they think is worth wrting about, worth reporting to people.)
She dismissed the Bikoy videos, and the matrix making claims about the videos, as just an expected element of a heated campaign season.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo had earlier said President Duterte was given the matrix and that this same matrix was what Manila Times published in an article written by its chairman emeritus Dante Ang, who also happens to be the Chief Executive's “special envoy for international public relations.”
Duterte had, for days, been threatening to release information about Filipino journalists which he obtained from a foreign entity.
Groups named by the matrix, including the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) and Rappler, have denied having anything to do with the making of the Bikoy videos or any plot to oust Duterte. – 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.