Corruption in journalism: We need your help, President-elect Duterte

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JOURNALISTS and media organizations should be thankful to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for stating the fact that there are corrupt journalists (and, by extension, corrupt media organizations) page 1 and prime time news. Thanks to him, corruption in journalism became a subject of national discourse last week.

That there is corruption in the media and there are corrupt journalists is something that everybody knows—from Batanes to Sabah. But people in high places and politicians rarely talk about it.

Politicians don’t talk about that issue because some of these politicians have been, in the first place, the corruptors. If not that, some of them are at least willing participants in corrupt media undertakings or in a journalist’s suppression of damaging stories or publication of favorable but untruthful stories.

We, in The Manila Times, are pleased that the President-elect spoke out about corruption in our industry. For we have been very vigilant about this. We are proud to say that we have let go of a number of corrupt employees through the years.


On the murder of journalists, Mr. Duterte said many journalists in the Philippines are killed for being corrupt. “Kaya namamatay kasi karamihan diyan nabayaran na. They take sides or sobrahan ang atake, getting personal,” he said. “If you are an upright journalist, nothing will happen to you… The example here is Pala. I do not want to diminish his memory but he is [was]a rotten son of a bitch. He deserved it,” he said.

Juan “Jun” Pala, a local broadcaster on dxGO, was also a politician. He had untiringly criticized Mr. Duterte. Motorcycle-borne gunmen murdered him in Davao in 2003. His murder is an unsolved crime until now.

‘Journalists are legitimate targets of assassination’
Thanks to President-elect Duterte’s statements—which Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, president of PDP-Laban, clarified—we know now that Mr. Duterte thinks corrupt journalists are “legitimate targets of assassination.”

We appreciate our future President’s forthrightness and transparency, letting us know this frightening outlook of his. Mr. Duterte himself has said he thinks many (if not most) journalists are clean.

But we, journalists, have enemies, including fellow journalists who are capable of making mayors and governors wrongly believe that a good journalist they envy is corrupt. Now, with Mr. Duterte’s statement, we journalists are better warned. We can, therefore, take steps to protect ourselves from assassins in case we get mistakenly identified to be corrupt.

Mr. Duterte’s statements also suggest to us that he knows who the corrupt journalists and media organizations are. He would be helping improve Philippine journalism a lot if he named more names of “son-of-a-bitch” journalists, their newspapers and broadcast organizations. By identifying the bad eggs he knows in the media, he would embolden other politicians and officials to speak out.

If Mr. Duterte announced the names of other “rotten” journalists, the good ones should then be spared the stigma of corruption and be able to cleanse the profession, trade and industry of journalism in our country.

We need your help, President-elect Rody Duterte.

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24 Comments

  1. Hinda ka makalayo ng tatlong hakbang, there’s always someone wanting to grab from others. A COUNTRY of THIEVES. What had happened that you all had devolved into WICKEDNESS!
    From those that (expectedly)should be good exampler/ leaders down to taxi drivers, to police, to tindera sa palengke, bakit magnanakaw kayo lahat?
    PINAGTAMPUHAN KAYO NG DIOS, DIGONG might still be a BLESSING IN DIGUISE to mirror the true Pilipino image, to come to the surface to be addressed & dealt with.
    Dina oobra ang dasal sa inyong pagbabago.

  2. It is high time to end trial by publicity and allow judicial and investigative process to run its due course. Healthy press is indispensable to the functioning of an orderly governance.

  3. Maria Taffer on

    Masaya kami at after days of board meetings and contemplations…you have come to realize that Mr.Duterte really meant no harm when he put to light the simple, inconvenient truth about your chosen craft–Journalism.

    Sana hindi nyo lang kami inuuto sa ngayon.Marunong na ang taumbayan ngayon.We can always tell kung pansamantala nyo lang kaming nilinlang.Mapagmatyag na ang taumbayan.Please understand THE CRY I THE WHOLE NATION dear Manila Times.Pagod lang kami sa dating tiwaling gawi.CAN’T YOU SEE WHY WE ARE ANGRY? MAKINIG NAMAN KAYO SA SIGAW NAMING MAHIHIRAP.

  4. Danilo Sanchez on

    Meron talgang mga corrupt journalist kuno na ang hanap buhay ay makikibalita kung saan ang mga presscon dahil pag may presscon may envelope na ipinamimigay mahina na ang P500 kada envelope magrereklamo pa kasi kulang daw sa pang gasolina nila, so dadagdagan ng mga politikong nagpatawag ng presscon para magsulat ng mabuti para sa kanila, Ito namang journalist kuno true to his word magsusulat ng maganda para sa politikong nagbigay ng envelope at pa english english pa mali mali naman ang grammar at spelling. Pero ano ang ginagawa ng mga totoong journalist? Wala kasi nakikinabang din sila. TRUTH HURTS.

  5. I think all the respondents have missed the point. Surely this editorial was written tongue very firmly in cheek and displays a wicked sarcasm from the writer?

  6. The truthpuncher on

    For decades pseudo-journalists have been monopolizing the media for their own vested personal interests or in service of powerful political families, business corporations etc. to turn public opinion for their own gain. Examples are eradicating potential rivals who are threats to their interests, by spreading all kinds of malicious and distorted stories about them; using their monopoly of the media to cover up their own or their clients’ crimes and projecting it against their opponents or scapegoats; and blocking reforms that would hurt their interests even if it meant sacrificing the national good with all sorts of fallacious arguments. But their worst crime is that they have destroyed the public trust in the media and responsible journalism as a whole by justifying their abuses as “interests of business”, and at the same time damaging the good done by truly professional and sincere journalists including their public image and character.
    It is high time that a rigid culling be carried out to save and restore Philippine journalism to its noble purpose. All that our President-elect has done is to ignite the fire that will now distinguish the gold from the gross, the wind that will separate the chaff from the grain. As the rank and file of the nation’s journalism are badly shaken and everyone is forced to make a stand, the “rotten” ones have no choice but to reveal their true colors.
    By giving the best interpretation to date of the highly controversial statements of our President-elect, the Manila Times has proven that it remains among the few bulwarks of professional journalism in our nation. Mabuhay ang MT.

  7. Bandits have their guns while PRESS have their pens…guns booming are heard for a minimal number of miles while scribbling pens are heard without miles limit…bullets from guns kill people equivalent to one per while inks from pens kills or prolong democratic idealogies for millions to die for. Guns for sale are about mere thousand moolahs while pens for sale is just about twenty peso each but can kill millions. So beware not hose who carry guns but those who have pens……

  8. Instead of being defensive, Manila Times accepted Duterte’s “expose” as a challenge to further clean their ranks of misfits as it should be, way to go Manila Times!!!

  9. My sincere congratulations for the editorial officers and staff of Manila Times for being honest and my wish that once again this newspaper regains their being No.1 More power to you!o

  10. Sarcastic editorial. The bad eggs in media know who they are, and there are no secrets in this sector. If a list of these characters was made public then their life spans could be shortened. We don’t wish that so it behooves these practitioners to just simply stop taking money to promote or attack people and institutions. Go back to the principles and ethics of being a journalist and if anyone loses his/her life in the process then we will seek justice rather than deride a whole class of people.

  11. JERRY Rimando on

    I think this is the proper reaction to Duterte’s message regarding the media. He dared to tell media to be fair if they want to be credible, respected and protected. Duterte’s real message – be fair, be truthful.

  12. This MT editorial is the most relevant expression of what duterte means about journalism in the country today. The message is one that does not protect nor hide the rotten system in their profession and not in anyway disgusted or negative with the way the president is criticizing the journalists as a whole. This is the first time we experience a president not afraid of losing his popularity just to be in good graces (or makipagplastikan) with his critics at this early stage of his presidency. He is downright straight the point with matching expletives to drive at his points. He doesn’t minced words about what he thinks of negative issues… meaning he is brutally frank and truthful to his words…. basically the complete opposite of the mother of all LIERS—–abnoy…..

  13. Rudi Miranda on

    Congratulation! I like the audacity of the editorial and PH society needs it for a coming Change! Lead the way Manila Times! Move on …

    • Just1patriot on

      Yeah, lead the way MT! Now, what are you going to do with Tatad, Tiglao, and Makabenta who glaringly advocated only for certain candidates, spreading lies and half-truths (even now about BBM being cheated) and forsaking the sanctity of balanced reporting. Yes, even editorials can’t take sides, worse get paid, or expect future gains (ambassadorship anyone?).

      Newspapers are not moneymakers like they used to. Now, some have augmented their income as paid advertizers but stealthily disguised as unbiazed news.

  14. hidita c. villas on

    Thank you so much for this! Our family is so happy that you have come up with this editorial. May God bless Manila Times family and keep you all safe, strong and vigilant!

  15. Mike Bunning on

    Well said…Ang hiarp kasi sa ibang media group ngmamalinis….ngpapatuloy sa pagiging corrupt…They think that press freedom is absolute…that is a big mistake….

  16. Yes, there are many segments of our society that have been corrupted. Journalists are one and we do need a cleansing to achieve a better society. Duterte is the catalyst we need.

  17. Kudos to the Editorial Board of The Manila Times!

    This can be the beginning of “cleansing” the country’s media of pseudo media organizations and unscrupulous mediamen!

  18. Bella Donna on

    Good article! Keep it up MT! I have been reading your paper since i was a small girl in a very small town in Mindanao! Keep up the good work!

  19. Hehehe. There are more in your backyard. Tuloy nyo lang ang paglilinis. Kilala na sila. Balikan nyo lang ang election period.

  20. Manuel P.Aro on

    this is what I said, the president elect had opened a can of worms. he is definitely right that there is corruption in the media. it is a reminder for them to do right thing professionally, and honestly. now is the time to change.

  21. P.Akialamiro on

    This article speaks well of the truth about journalists and media organizations in the Philippines. This being said, it is also true that there are also bad eggs in other groups or organizations in the country. I hope that this article will serve as a reminder to all others to ‘police’ their ranks for the overall transformation of our society to better days ahead in the country.

    MT, truly you speak the truth!