MANILA - Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Brigadier General Lope Dagoy on Wednesday refused to apologize to news website Rappler for his earlier remark against the online news site.
Rappler on Wednesday demanded an apology from Dagoy for saying that its reporter Pia Ranada should be thankful his men did not hurt her when she was barred from entering the Palace grounds on Tuesday morning.
Dagoy, however, said it is Rappler that should apologize to his men. He had slammed Ranada and other reporters for prodding PSG member Marc Anthony Cempron at the Palace gate for answers on who gave the order to bar the Rappler journalist.
“You see how selective they are in finding fault at me without giving the people the whole picture of the incident. I challenge Rappler that they present the whole video to the public and let them decide who between us made the grievous mistake on what transpired during the incident,” Dagoy said in a statement.
“Imagine namili lang ng portion of the incident then project me already as the bad guy? Tama ba 'yan? Ganyan na ba ang standard ng media investigation ng Rappler? Me to apologize? In their dreams! Sila ang mag-apologize sa sundalo ko.”
Rappler denounced Dagoy’s statement during his interview with Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson.
"Pasalamat kayo hindi kayo sinaktan sa pambabastos na ginawa niyo," Dagoy said in a video posted on Uson's Facebook page.
Rappler said this statement showed "conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, coming as it did from a soldier who took his oath to defend civilians, who stands closest to the seat of power, and who serves an organization that has shown, time and again, its respect for and appreciation of civilian institutions such as Rappler.”
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also slammed the PSG chief for his remarks against Rappler.
"That remark is uncalled for and really off the mark. Whatever Rappler's offense, the PSG had no right to harm Rappler's people or threaten them," Lorenzana said in a statement.
Ranada was initially barred from entering Malacañang on Tuesday. Palace officials later revealed that it was President Rodrigo Duterte who made the order.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Duterte lost trust and got irked at Ranada because of her recent “fake news” reports.
Duterte’s order to bar Ranada from the Palace came a day after his top aide, Christopher “Bong” Go, lashed out at Rappler during a Senate hearing for supposedly publishing a malicious report that he meddled in a deal to supply the combat management system for two navy frigates.
Ranada has been covering Duterte since the 2016 presidential campaign.