Palace accuses New York Times of ‘demolition work’ vs. Duterte
Malacanang did not mince words on Monday as it criticized the New York Times (NYT) for its series of articles and videos on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella pointed out that in one week, the NYT has published the following:
- a news feature, “Becoming Duterte: The Making of a Philippine Strongman,” narrating the rise to power of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte under the context of violence;
- an editorial, “Accountability for Duterte,” with jailed mutineer Gary Alejano and Jude Sabio, lawyer of self-confessed assassin Edgar Matobato mouthing unsubstantiated claims;
- a video documentary, “When A President Says, “I’ll Kill You,” zeroing in on the vigilante deaths that occurred under the present administration.
“NYT’s very obvious demolition work flies in the face of the very high approval of PPRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) enjoys,” Abella said.
“The newspaper tries to stir global outrage in a nation that welcomes its newfound peace and order,” he said.
The Presidential spokesperson said such pieces can lead to the conclusion “that certain personalities and politicians have mounted a well funded campaign utilizing hack writers and their ilk in their bid to oust PRRD.”
“However, the Administration will not be deterred in fulfilling its promise of building a progressive and inclusive nation free from drugs, crimes and corruption,” he said.
An ally of Duterte earlier accused the New York Times of attempting to “destabilize” the Duterte government with its profile. “Becoming Duterte” is about the former Davao City mayor’s early life and rise to power.
Abella called it a “hack job” that “cynically and unfairly” portrayed Duterte as calling for violence and mass murder.
Meanwhile, the recently released documentary tells the story of Inquirer photographer Raffy Lerma who has been covering the night shift. In the 15-minute video, Lerma is shown taking photos at crime scenes where alleged drug users and pushers were killed, either by the police or vigilante groups. He is also shown visiting the wake of the victims.
Duterte has been criticised by human rights groups and some international organizations for his drug war, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 7,000 people./rga
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