Cayetano: BBC documentary on Duterte 'tabloid' propaganda

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 03 2018 10:37 AM

MANILA -- Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano dismissed as "propaganda" a documentary by British broadcaster BBC about the state of democracy in the Philippines.

The BBC documentary "Philippines: Democracy in Danger?" which aired on Sept. 29, delved into the deaths attributed to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.

Cayetano called the reportage "anti-Duterte propaganda, more worthy of tabloid journalism and gossip."

"The episode misleads viewers about President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s anti-illegal drug strategy, which is actually making Philippine society safer, healthier, and more prosperous," he said.

Cayetano urged BBC to "present an accurate and balanced view of issues about the Philippines." He said the report failed to mention surveys which showed that Filipinos still trust the President.

The foreign affairs chief blasted the report for failing to tackle the "enormous" drug problem in the country. He said BBC also did consider the fact that officers tagged in the illegal drugs are being investigated.

The documentary, which is part of BBC's "Our World" series, featured Duterte's critics like Senators Leila de Lima, Antonio Trillanes IV and ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Cayetano said the BBC feature on the three were "one-sided" despite the inclusion of comments from Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

"It overlooks the fact that all three have been given and continue to be given their day in court," he said. The officials are still free to criticize Duterte, he said.

Cayetano also slammed BBC's feature on the Duterte administration's supposed attack on Philippine media, which featured interviews of Rappler journalists.

Those who read the local newspapers or watch the television news "can observe that the press is anything but inhibited in the Philippines," he said.

The Securities and Exchanges Commission revoked Rappler's incorporation papers earlier this year for allegedly violating restrictions on foreign ownership.