Duterte alluding to Maria Ressa Time cover? ‘Inyo na ‘yan’
Was the naming of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa as Time magazine's Person of the Year, along with other journalists, on President Rodrigo Duterte’s mind as he gave a speech on Thursday, December 13, in Las Piñas?
Without mentioning Ressa by name, the Philippine President said he couldn’t care less about accolades given to his critics.
"Time of the what, Time of the magazine, Time – ‘Woman of the Century’ and all, inyo na ‘yan (you can have it),” he said during the birthday celebration of former Senate president Manny Villar.
“Ako, simple lang ako (Me, I’m a simple man). I am a worker of goverrnment and I work for the people. The long and short of my oath is, I have to protect the people of the Republic of the Philippines and I have to preserve the nation,” he said, to cheers from his audience.
Immediately after mentioning Time magazine, Duterte gave a protracted defense of his controversial crackdown on illegal drugs.
“Kaya pagka pumasok ka diyan (illegal drugs) and even if I’m the only one trying to answer or justify my actuations I will do it,” he said.
(So if you get into it and even if I’m the only one trying to answer or justify my actuations, I will do it.)
He again questioned the “20,000 deaths” attributed to his campaign against illegal drugs by some groups.
“If I have to go to jail, so be it. 20,000 deaths, okay. Where did it happen? What actually happened?” he said.
Ressa is among the journalists under attack in their countries who have been collectively named Time Person of the Year for 2018.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines hailed the recognition as a testament to the “resistance and tenacity of the Philippine press” in fighting for press freedom under the Duterte presidency.
Malacañang, meanwhile, insisted that freedom of expression is “robust” under the Duterte administration. – Rappler.com
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