DAVAO CITY (2nd UPDATE) - President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will not apologize for saying that some journalists in the Philippines are killed for being "corrupt and biased."
Duterte said he was just telling the truth when he uttered those words during his press conference last Tuesday.
“Huwag na tayong magbolahan. No apologies, no nothing,” Duterte told reporters.
“Huwag na tayong magbolahan, alam niyo yan. [There are] vultures pretending to be journalists. Ang problema dito, every son of a b**** who claim to be journalists make money, extorting money from people."
Duterte drew flak when he said that corrupt and biased journalists are killed in the Philippines, and that the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press cannot shield a journalist from being hunted down by people he or she offended.
“Just because you are a journalist, you are exempted from assassination… Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong,” he said.
During Tuesday’s press conference where Duterte presented his Cabinet members for the first time, the tough-talking executive also cited the case of hard-hitting commentator Jun Pala, who was killed in 2003.
Duterte described Pala as a “rotten son of a b****.”
Duterte said a journalist need not fear anything if he knows he has not done anything wrong.
“Kung papatayin ka talaga, papatayin ka. There is no way to know that the next victim would be a journalist,” he said. “Hindi ka naman talaga papatayin kung wala kang ginawa.”
During the Thursday press conference, Duterte said there are three kinds of journalists — those who are true to their craft, those who defend certain interests, and those who extort money.
“Huwag na tayong magbolahan. Halos lahat humihingi. Ayaw ko na magsalita. Lahat. I said no apologies,” he said.
“Magprangkahan na tayo. It is better to tell the truth and agree with the truth rather than play bullshit with journalists… Lahat ng estasyon, pera pera iyan.”
While he admitted that he was a fierce of enemy of Pala, he denied ordering the killing of the said critic.
"Why would I kill him? He made me popular. He made me popular for nine terms. And people knew he was a criminal. He was into extortion," he said.
"I am the guy who will never send anybody to kill you."
‘GO AHEAD, BOYCOTT ME’
Duterte’s statements on media killings drew the ire of local and international media organizations, with Reporters Without Borders urging media organizations here to boycott the president-elect.
But Duterte is unfazed by the threat, saying life will actually be easier for him if no reporters cover him.
"You know very well, before I ran for president nobody knew me or knew my face," he said.
"I hate giving interviews, that’s why I would be contented with a camera, a cellphone taking pictures of me... Huwag kayong pumunta, make it the first time in history, don't cover me."
He said he may just run his government "sub rosa" or have the government-run network be the lone media entity covering him.
Duterte was also adamant that he would not change his attitude, something which is both adored and abhorred by Filipinos following his speeches.
"I will never change my style, character and identity, my identity is my universal... that is the identity that God gave me. I will never change it for anybody," he said.
"If you think I'm not sincere, that is not my problem. I don't have to please you. I don't have to convince you. Why would I go down on bended knees just for you to believe me? That is b**l s**t."
Duterte, who will take over from President Aquino on June 30, also said he is ready to lose the presidency.
"I can lose the presidency, my life, my honor, just do not f**k with me. Huwag niyo na ako takutin. Boycott, boycott, eh di magboycott kayo," he said.