Duterte interviewing himself, and writing his own column?


    IT’S been suggested by some friends and readers that we, in the media, should wait until the Duterte presidency unfolds in glory or infamy before subjecting it to serious analysis and criticism.

    I take such counsel with skepticism because it is fundamentally irresponsible. Do we wait until the government is overrun by communists and cronies before saying a word about it? Do we wait until Duterte is already in China negotiating the South China Sea dispute before warning of its consequences? Do we wait until the first executions and vigilante assassinations before saying a word? And do we wait until Duterte has completely obliterated media coverage of his presidency, before saying that the policy is self-defeating?

    I belong to the school of journalists who believe that part of media’s role is to warn of dangers before they happen, that we must assess where our ship of state is headed and warn of icebergs along the way, lest our ship crash on one and sink into the deep like the RMS Titanic.

    Most sweeping media reforms
    The changes and reforms announced by incoming President Duterte and his communications team are some of the most sweeping ever attempted by a President of the Republic.

    They include the following:
    1. The banning of private media from covering Duterte’s activities in Davao City and future activities in Malacañang.

    2. The replacement of the big networks by the People’s Television Network (GTV-4), re-fashioned as a Filipino version of the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC).

    3. The replacement of national dailies by a government tabloid newspaper

    4. The total cancellation of presidential news conferences as a matter of policy.

    Not since President Ferdinand Marcos proclaimed Martial Law in Sept. 1972 has a President ever implemented such major changes in government-media relations.

    At heart, they appear to reflect Mr. Duterte’s distrust of the media, his naïve belief that the media have no service to offer unless they talk about the President.

    I must say that the idea of strengthening public broadcasting and establishing a Philippine version of the BBC could be a worthy reform. Anything that will compel the media giants to improve their current shabby service (of both entertainment and public affairs) is welcome.

    But the bigger picture is troubling for the press and for the nation.

    Setting the table for farce and travesty
    If pursued to their logical conclusion, the eccentric media policies of incoming President Duterte set the table for a farce and travesty of media’s role in society. He could dramatize the media’s irrelevance and uselessness if he launches two initiatives:

    Duterte will regularly conduct an interview of himself on government television; and

    Duterte will write his own column in a government newspaper.

    It is possible that some or many people will enjoy the spectacle of DU30 talking to himself and writing down his thoughts and opinions, especially if he peppers these with his signature cursing and vulgarities.

    But before our new President embarks on this fateful course, he should be given fair warning that he risks turning into parody and farce the presidency of our republic. He will invite comparison to the mad and eccentric monarchs and chiefs of state in history.

    When I mentioned the idea of Duterte interviewing himself in a chat with media colleagues, one veteran journalist said that President Cory already tried that during her presidency. She never held a news conference. She only delivered her periodic Ulat sa Bayan (Report to the Nation) to convey what was in her mind or what she had been doing. She was perfectly happy with herself.

    Two media provisions in Bill of Rights
    Many sometimes forget this, but there are, in fact, two rights pertaining to the media in the Bill of Rights (Article III) enshrined in the Constitution:

    Article III, Section 4: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of people to assemble, and petition the government for the redress of grievances.

    2. Article III, Section 7: “The right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. Access to official records, and to documents, and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions, or decisions, as well as government research data used as basis for policy development, shall be afforded the citizen, subject to such limitations as may be provided by law.”

    Section 7 is why the proposed Freedom of Information Act is regarded as vital to our constitutional system.

    In an explanatory note on the Bill of Rights, Constitutional Commission member and author Jose N. Nolledo wrote in his book, The Constitution Explained (National Book Store, 1987):

    “A bill of rights is to a large extent declaratory of fundamental principles and of the basic rights of citizenship. It has been said that the rights protected by the bill of rights are those that inheres in the great and essential principles of liberty and free government.”

    Do we journalists fear being upstaged by Duterte as his own interviewer and as a columnist? Speaking for myself, I say, No, not really.

    H e will only be as entertaining and laughable as the daily antics on “Eat Bulaga.” The public will quickly tire of it.
    What you see is who you are
    This thing, you see, works both ways. Neither the President nor the media can perform their jobs without the assistance of the other. The President must be able to communicate with the public through the media. And the media must have the President’s cooperation for them to provide an accurate assessment of what’s happening to our ship of state.

    In the end, the media serve as a sounding board for the President; and they become a mirror for the President to see himself. What you see in the mirror is who you are.

    yenmakabenta@ yahoo.com


    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. His favorite style of being interviewed is his paid program “Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa,” televised by ABS-CBN, Davao City, every Sunday from 9:00am to 9:30am where he is asked by a woman (his paid propagandist) with planned & prepared questions. TV/radio listeners are not allowed to ask questions. It is monologue & definitely self-serving with cussing & bad-mouthing.

    2. Mr Yen,
      I would like to remind you to police your rank. Don’t you know that majority of people in media especially in the Provinces are not graduate of journalism. That’s why their story is always one sided without considering the highest ethical standard of journalism. Now, as journalist you are attacking Duterte without giving the benefit of the doubt to prove his worth as duly elected president. Please wait! Change is coming especially to irresponsible journalist.

    3. Ang problema din kasi mga media people – na pag galit sila sa iyo – i MEDIA TWIST ka nila. Sandamakmak na kasinungalingan, sandamakmak na kutya, sandamakmak kabit kabit na kwento against you ang gagawin nila. Sobra silang sama din at wala naman media entity na nag condemn sa kanila. Masyado silang pa importansya!!!!

      • I agree. Media people are very influential and so many of them abuse that power. They mislead people by sensationalizing petty issues. We just had a lemon president bec of them. Hope they can still follow guidelines for a decent broadcasting of the news.

      • Ah,,tama nga siguro,,sinira ng media dn si Aquino..pero di pinansin ni aquino ang paninira at pagmumura sa kanya ng media..Ngaun Baligtad,,presdiente ngayun ,,kayo naman media ang minumura,,at para kayong paty gutom na nasa labas kayo nag cocover..kakahiya,,hi,hi,hi,

    4. Indeed but if you have people who can’t even ask substantive questions during interviews nor write piercing commentaries or opinion in their columns or boys and girls who dont even know their syntax, much less answer the 5w and 1h in the first paragraph of their “news”, we might as well close those tabloids masquerading as broadsheets. Sometimes, doctors do not need a medical writer while performing an operation in a patient especially when the writer only tends to cloud thinking because the writer does not know that ge does not know. As the saying goes, so many cooks spoil the broth.

    5. ferdinand naboye on

      ang media ay bias and proclaim to portray the trurth. the truth is they are hiding in the guoise of the truth to perpetuate their interest only

    6. This journalist could be one of those being marked the way he express.

      You are the one bending your knowledge from what DU30’s message for journalist.
      Dont you understand why? or you cant take it? because you are from the YELLOW’s?

      REASON WHY TO REVISED : Because Journalist are starting, digging their own way to Curruption! Delivering many of their informations to public like a “curly french fries” and misleading.

    7. Baka gusto ni President-elect iyon format niya sa TV (ABS.CBN, Davao) aired every Sunday morning named “Gikan sa masa, Para sa masa” – One person interviewed & one person interviewing. All questions are prepared & filtered before the interview.

    8. Humanda ka abnoy on

      corrupted kasi masyado ang media..puro kayo balasubas …nakalimutan nyo ang trabaho and that is to deliver news as it happens… not make news whenever you feel like it…..karamihan sa inyo,mpatay gutom na…tulad noong man ga babaeng ng gulo at gumawa ng issue sa interview ni digong..
      ka alam alam namin…abat noytards media pala sila..tulad mo yen

    9. Centralized and controlled news system? thats what the Chinese Communist Party is doing in China, feeding the people with propaganda, making themselves believe they are the best people and they have the best government and they own all the seas, bereft of reality while the whole world watch them laughing at their distorted idea of the world around them.

      Everybody would know except us in the Philippines that we are being treated as fools

    10. Say what you will. The words of digong about the media ring so true, specially as it applies to you : ” you think too much of yourselves “.

      • He,he,he,,,mawawalan ka na ng trabaho mr. makabenta..kaya maghanap ka ng ibang pagkakakitaan…lahat ng media,,,don kayo sa labas ng malakanyang na parang gutom na makakuha lang ng balita…ngayun kalat na balita ayun sa propaganda ng duterte,,pag against ang opinion kay duterte ay bayaran at yellowtards..o drug lords,,,o suporter ng drug lords,,delikado,,baka taniman ka ng shabu..wala ng tanim bala ngayun,,tanim shabu na at kill agad..

    11. “In the end, the media serve as a sounding board for the President; and they become a mirror for the President to see himself.” I doubt it Mr. Makabenta. A good number of you are as dirty as those trapos in the political arena. Instead of getting unadulterated news and clear facts,we end up reading, hearing and seeing your deadly and misleading spins and slants, either to purposely mislead the public or just to sell your wares to the public. And judging from how you people in the media look so highly of yourself. You’re all no better than the bishops with their holier than thou mentality. Any direct criticism on any network or media practitioner even for valid reasons ends up getting ignored by your kind and even worst gets branded as attack on the freedom of the press. Have your kind done anything for all those of your who sell their pens, cameras and mic to those who can fill their pockets? From those who “makabenta man lang ng kunti para may pang-dagdag sa kapritso n’yo (No pun intended) to those who “nagmamagaling lang naman kahit walang laman o di makatutuhananang ang sinasabi at pinalalabas na balita ang mga tsismis at kwentong barbero.” All you people keep on parroting is we have libel laws for those types of porno…i mean journo! But really? Just like those in robes, a good number of your are just too pretentious and corrupt to deserve the constitutional protection on the freedom of the press.

    12. In most of Dutertes news conferences, he has a tendency to curse, and answer questions that is not nice to hear. It is best if he will minimize these interviews. He has his cabinet members and let them answer the questions. It is better for our country not to hear and see him frequently.

    13. Apollo Manalo on

      If duterte still unfriendly to the media his popularity will soon exhaust.

    14. Maybe President Digong does not want Media to talk about himself, that is why he prohibits interviews. Stick to the policies and plans of the government, that should be focus of journalism not to the private life because the constitution also protects every ones privacy. Also the Media are becoming weapons of persons with vested interest that is why all negative information and hate campaigns abound. If you are the President would you trust these people? Maybe some of them are paid by the drug lords or those who are affected much by his policies. we do not know. The President is doing reforms with earthquake proportions and some will lose their milking cow so to speak, so it is possible that they are planning the best plan to oust him from office or if not to kill him, and media has a lot to do to make it happen so if you are Digong what do you do? It seems some journalist are not akin to the nature of Governance problems and maybe they do not know that they are being used to promote some of the worst plan there is to bring down this incoming government. So i say let’s give this new government a chance unless you are the the drug lords, corrupt media, corrupt officials, etc…

      • Ayan,,hinanay na ng socoal media brigade ni dutertards si makabenta, na baka drug lords. corrupt media, etc. Yari ka na, YEN MAKABENTA…mas magaling sa iyo mag salita o gumawa ng column ang mga brigades nila,,dahil alam nila,,dami tanga sa pilipinas …at kita mo naman sa taga sunod niya,,IISA ang salita,,pag against ka sa kaila,,sasabihin,,drug lords ka, yellow ka, corrupt media,…may iisa silang sasabihin…at papahiya ka at mumurahin…saka di talaga makaagot si tanda sa media,,wala utak ,ganon talaga..matanda na eh..pabago bago ng salita at isip..

    15. Main stream media controlled by the Elite Oligarchs can write whatever it wish. President Duterte shall talk to the citizens by official government media. The millions upon millions of citizens shall talk to Duterte by social media. Gone are the days of Oligarchs media monopoly. Let FB shall be the voice of millions citizens. FB….FB…FB…. yeheyyyy….. sa FB na tayo para totoong millions of citizens ang nagsa salita. Duterte is right > Main Stream Media boycott for Duterte is accepted with out heartache.

      • FB daw ang tutuo,,he,he,he,,,sa group lang ninyo na panat fake ang ipopost, photoshopped at ,sumisigaw pa ng ‘YEHEEYYY” putang ina, etc..Katulad mo…BOBO ,,he,he, sorry for my word,,nagaya lang kay Tandang pikon dutirte..Pero ayw niya media,,kasi wala siya TALINO na sumagot,,katulad ng mga followers niya,,pag di maksagot ng ayos,,Mura ang isasagot yun lang yun..he,he,he

    16. Don’t you think that Duterte, after (or if he ever) gets to read this will just say “noted”?

      • NOTED? ..delikado, puwede ka pick up pin…parang kay marcos noon..kaya ingat,,at baga ma TANIM SHABU ka, SIr..sabihin protector ka ng drug lord…Di KaYA?

    17. OA mo naman! Just do your work as a journalist period. In short, you have to really work as a journalist – and not just spread lies and innuendoes masquerading as opinion. You attacked Pres Digong even during the campaign period because you are in favor of another candidate – halata naman yan – so what is new to your so-called discourse?

      • Ayan na MAKBENTA,,pag di favor ang opinion mo kay Mang Rody, ay kasinngalingan at bayaran ka,,pero pag favor ang opinion mo,,”I like you Makabenta”..Malakas ang SOCIAL MEDIA Brigade ni duterte at marcos..marami pondo,,kaya Yari ka MAKABENTA..mga bulag na yan at uto uto..sa social media lang sila,matapang ,,pag kaharap na ay parang pinukok na aso, at nag mamakaawa at di alam ang isasagot.. Just like Mang Rody..Bobo at di makasagot ng tama,sa tanong ng media..pag di makasagot,,babaguhin ang topic at magmumura..he,he,he,,pasang awa kasi ,,at panay kopya ng nag aaral..bobo sa row 4 si duterte,,abogado nga ,,,,binayaran ang bar exam,,sa panahon ni marcos,,kaya pumasa…di ba? yung ang balita ngayun..lumilitaw na na dinaya ang bar exam niya,kaya pumasa..Tutuo Kaya?

    18. The Media is the fourth branch of government. With the power it yields,who checks its ways?

      • Hayaan muna ang Duterte media sa FB..si la na lang magbabalita,,mas tutuo pa daw ang media reporter nila na tindera sa palengke at dancer na naghuubad non,,na ngayun ay media head ng mga duterte media..he,he,he,,sayaw pa mucha uson! presidente ng social media ni duterte,,hi,hi,hi,,,wag ng mag aral ng journalism…Kaya ikaw makabenta, wala ka na rin patutunguhan,,lalo na kay duterte,kailangn mag sipsip ka na sa kanya at puro positive ang ikuwento mo,,negative tago mo na,,bago promote ka pa ni duterte as propagandist manager..hi,hi,hu,,tignan mo tulfos brothre