Pro-Duterte bloggers told to respect legitimate media
Malacanang on Sunday urged bloggers supporting President Rodrigo Duterte to respect the mainstream media in the country.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the call after pro-Duterte blogger, Rey Joseph Nieto, suggested to the former during his recent radio interview to throw hollow blocks to Pia Ranada, a Rappler reporter assigned to Malacanang.
"I'm calling on the DDS (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) to really respect the legitimate media and it is part of my job as the spokesman (to say) the interesting message, the importance of a free press in a democracy," he said.
Ranada, on her Twitter account, asked radio station DWIZ where Nieto interviewed Roque, to act on the threat against her.
"Whether or not he meant it literally, it's a threat. Why is a KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas)-accredited recognized radio station allowing its hosts to threaten journalists?," she said.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines criticized Roque for not calling Nieto's attention when he made the threat to Ranada.
"It is such a shame that newly-appointed Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque - a lawyer, a self-styled human rights defender, and until very recently, a lawmaker - allowed this on air exchange between him and without calling Nieto's attention that he may be committing a crime. But would he really?," NUJP said in a statement.
It recalled that it was Roque himself who told blogger and Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson in her interview that he would throw hollow blocks at the critics of the Duterte administration.
Nieto, who bragged about his huge following, was tapped as a consultant by the Department of Foreign Affairs. Ella Dionisio/DMS