A BRASH and tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte had nothing but good words to the media as he hosted members of the Malacañang Press Corps to a Christmas Party on Tuesday night.
Known for his love-hate relationship with the media, Duterte was his usual playful self during a dinner in Malacañang where he assured journalists that he was not their enemy.
“I am not your enemy. Your quest for truth, that is your business, not mine. At the end of the day, it’s not my property. It’s just public interest,” he said.
Duterte, who always slammed media for alleged bias reporting, acknowledged the “adversarial relationship” the media must take in relation to government.
“Never mind about our relationship, it’s always adversarial. Your truth is not my truth and everybody’s truth, so we fight with each other,” the President said.
“Wala naman tayong galit (We don’t have anger). We do not fight with each other. I do not hate anybody here or else I will not be inviting you to my place,” he added.
The tough-talking President came under fire for saying that corrupt journalists in the Philippines were killed.
He was also criticized for catcalling a female television journalist.
Duterte’s camp said that the Chief Executive no longer granted interviews so that there would be “no more mistakes.”
Despite the love-hate relationship with the media, Duterte said the protection of the public interest was paramount.
“It’s just public interest foremost and I think, it’s the only one, the only standard is public interest,” the President said.
“In the meantime, we have work to do. You have your mandate. I have my task. If we happen to meet at a corner and agree, it would be good. But if we find ourselves in disagreement, that is part of our territory,” he added.