MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte banned a Rappler reporter from Malacañang because the journalist's insistence on a report that linked his top aide to a Navy ship deal amounted to disrespect, his spokesman said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque likened Rapper reporter Pia Ranada's actions to a house guest, saying, "If you were in the President’s position wherein you were disrespected by your visitor, can you blame him for throwing out the disrespectful person out of your house."
A Rappler report said Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go tried to influence the selection of a systems provider for 2 Navy frigates, sparking a Senate inquiry. Go denied the allegation.
“Rappler, Pia was allowed to go inside the house of the President. The President was, however, disrespected because Ranada insisted on the truthfulness of her ‘fake news’ despite the Senate investigation,” Roque told reporters in Iloilo.
Ranada, who covered Duterte since the 2016 election campaign, said late Wednesday that it “breaks my heart” that she would no longer be allowed to ask the President questions.
"l’ll definitely miss that. I didn't realize today would be my last day in Malacañang," she said on Twitter.