Expect no apologies from President-elect Rodrigo Duterte as regards his remarks relating journalists’ killings to corruption in the media, his spokesman told.
“He has done nothing wrong,” the high-profile lawyer told GMA News Online in a phone interview.
According to Panelo, Duterte was just retelling an incident and not generalizing that all journalists who were killed engaged in corrupt activities.
“Mali siguro ang dating,” he said.
Panelo then said that Duterte, as a public official, upholds the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of the press.
In an ambush interview with reporters in Davao City on Wednesday afternoon, the incoming presidential spokesperson said that Duterte was against all illegal killings.
“He is against all illegal killings. He will pursue the criminals to the ends of the earth in accordance with the law, in accordance with the Constitution,” Panelo said.
In a news conference unveiling his Cabinet appointees on Monday in Davao City, Duterte said that most slain journalists were corrupt.
“Just because you are a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination if you are a son of a bitch,” Duterte said.
“Freedom of expression won’t save you. The Constitution cannot help you kapag binaboy mo ang isang tao,” he added.
These remarks irked local and international press groups, saying that Duterte seemed to justify the killings with his pronouncements.
Duterte was responding to a reporter’s question about media killings. Then, he mentioned his critic Jun Pala, a Davao City-based radio broadcaster who was killed in 2003.