In a foul-mouthed tirade, President Duterte has called two major news outlets “sons of whores” and warned them of “karma” for their negative coverage of his war on drugs.
The president’s verbal attacks on TV channel ABS-CBN and the Daily Inquirer newspaper came in a pair of speeches in which he also lashed out at the European Union for criticising him over alleged human rights abuses.
He said: “See how they slant. I don’t know. But someday – I’m not scaring them – but someday, karma will come.
“Inquirer, you are bullshit, also ABS-CBN, you publish trash. Someone should tell you, ‘You are sons of bitches, you went too far in your nonsense’.
“They’re shameless, those sons of whore journalists.”
Specifically, he blasted Inquirer for claiming he ordered the killing of the poor.
“Look at Inquirer, I am saying, they are the ones who said I order the deaths of the poor. You know, yesterday, the Inquirer published two bullshit articles, those sons of bitches,” he said.
A statement issued by the Inquirer said it “took exception” to the president’s allegations.
“Since its founding in 1985, the Inquirer has upheld the highest standards of excellence in journalism. Even as we’ve courageously pursued the truth in our coverage, we’ve endeavoured to get the administration’s side of any controversy,” said Executive Editor Jose Nolasco.
Duterte also singled out the Prieto and Lopez families, who own the Inquirer and ABS-CBN respectively, calling them “oligarchs” who use the media to back their favoured political candidates.
“You’re full of shit. You stink, you Priestos, Lopezes. You’re full of shit. You oligarchs, you elite, you sons of bitches. If your candidate loses, you become virulent.
“That is what ails the Philippine society: it is the corrupt media, the face of Prieto and Lopez and their money and the church,” he said.
He also threatened, perhaps in jest, to use the state-owned TV broadcaster PTV4 to shame the two families. “I will give you your due also. I will go through your lives and those of your children,” he said.
Last year, Duterte made comments widely interpreted as justifying the murders of some journalists. “Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch,” he said.
He also described Jun Pala, an outspoken radio journalist who was murdered in Davao in 2003, when he was mayor, as a “rotten son of a bitch”.
Pala’s murder has never been solved but the recent testimonies of self-confessed Davao Death Squad members Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascaños have pointed the finger at Mr Duterte.