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Duterte on murdered journalists: They're corrupt, biased

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday blamed corruption in the media for the killing of journalists in the country.

In a news conference in Davao City, Duterte said that most journalists who are murdered are corrupt, having accepted bribes from personalities but proceeded to criticize them in the media.

"Karamihan 'yan, alam mo 'yan nabigyan na, especially if you want to take sides, nabayaran mo na tapos you play. 'Yan ang karamihan ng namatay. Or tumatanggap na sa mga sugarol tapos bira pa rin," Duterte said.

Duterte made the remark when asked about his administration's policy on media killings.

"You really want the truth? 'Yun ang truth," Duterte.

Duterte cited in particular the case of Davao-based radio broadcaster Jun Pala, a critic of Duterte who was murdered in 2003.

"Ang example natin dito, kung tagarito ka man, si Pala. I don't want to demean his memory but he was a rotten son of a bitch. He deserved it. Eh ganu'n eh," said Duterte.

"Of course I know who killed him. Kasi binastos niya 'yung tao eh."

Duterte stressed that journalists who are not engaged in any questionable activities will never be put in danger.

“Kasi kung journalist ka na tama, wala namang gagalaw sa iyo, especially if it is true. I mean, you cannot hide the truth, by the way, “ he said.

No freedom from assassination

Duterte said that the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press wouldn't protect media professionals from violence.

"Iyong freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong to the guy. Do not believe it so much na you swallow it hook, line, and sinker. Alam mo na marami diyan, binabayaran, pati writers. Alam mo iyan," Duterte said.

"Just because you are a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination if you are a son of a bitch," he added.

"Freedom of expression won't save you. The Constitution cannot help you kapag binaboy mo ang isang tao."

Duterte said journalists would be courting danger if they attacked private individuals.

“Kaya namamatay. Karamihan niyan nabayaran na. They take sides o sobrahan nila ang atake, getting personal. Hindi lahat ng tao. Kaming mga pulitiko, okay iyan. Praktisado kami," Duterte said.

"Pero may mga tao, you go private, tapos iyong anak, babuyin mo, papatayin ka talaga,” he added. —NB/JST, GMA News