DAVAO CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte was all praises for The Manila Times, citing the newspaper’s “credible” reporting.
In his speech during The Manila Times 5th Business Forum at Marco Polo Hotel on Friday, Duterte recalled how the media reported the accusations of Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th that he had P211 million in undeclared bank deposits.
“There are credible media outlets. Stick to The Manila Times … Who were dishing out garbage?” said Duterte, pointing to the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN, which played up Trillanes’ allegations.
Duterte said this was why he lashed out at the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), which, he pointed out, did not investigate Trillanes’ claims.
“That AMLC, I’m giving it a blow. [They said I had] P211 million. I said, why don’t you open it? I was requesting you to tell the public the truth,” Duterte said.
The President explained that he only had $5,000 in his bank account, which he said was given to him when he was a lawmaker for use in foreign trips such as inter-parliamentary visits.
Duterte accused the media of continuing to publish distorted stories.
“Don’t believe the writers, the opinion pages, they’re all garbage. It’s all about money and some of them are charlatans. They play politics, whatever. Do not… try to discern newspapers that do nothing. These newspapers, there’s nothing good that people did. Nothing could ever be right for them,” he said.
Duterte’s statement came after he met with his staunch social media supporters in Malacañang on Tuesday.
These supporters have been critical of how the mainstream media have covered the President’s activities and pronouncements.
In June last year, at the start of the transition period for his then incoming administration, Duterte decided to boycott the media after he drew international flak for saying most journalists were killed because they were corrupt.