MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday called on supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop using social media and text messages to attack Senator Leila de Lima and journalists who are critical of the administration.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the public should be "responsible" after De Lima and some reporters said they were being harassed by the President's supporters.
"Hindi po maganda iyung we're threatening our own. Syempre, senador natin si Senator De Lima. [Let us be responsible with our text messages. It not good that we’re threatening our own. Of course, Senator De Lima is a senator.] She's an elected official of our land," Andanar told reporters.
"Huwag po tayong magsakitan ng mga pino-post natin sa social media. Lalong lalo na po, iwasan nating i-threaten ang mga kasamahan natin sa media [Let us not hurt each other with what we post on social media. Let us not threaten our partners in the media]," said Andanar, a former television anchor.
De Lima, who led an investigation on the hundreds of deaths linked to the President's war on drugs, said she has received nearly 2,000 threatening text messages.
The senator's mobile phone was deluged with messages after a detained crime lord, who claimed she funded her senatorial campaign with drug money, read out her phone number in a nationally televised congressional hearing.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), has asked the Malacañang to investigate the attacks against reporters Gretchen Malalad and Al-Jazeera correspondent Jamela Alindogan-Caudron.
Malalad was accused by Duterte's supporters of sharing information to a foreign journalist who wrote a scathing report on Duterte’s supposed connection to extrajudicial killings while Alindogan-Caudron was lambasted for her article on the deaths of soldiers pursuing Abu Sayyaf bandits.