President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night dared members of the media to stop covering him, following a call from an international media group that Filipino journalists boycott his activities.
Reporters Without Borders urged journalists to boycott Duterte after the incoming Chief Executive said that members of the media get killed because of corruption among the ranks of journalists.
"I do not want publicity, you know that. It would be good if you disappear... Mag-boycott na kayo," Duterte said in a news conference Thursday night.
"As a matter of fact, make this trip your last in Davao City. I do not care if there is nobody covering me," he added.
He then addressed Manila-based reporters and said that he hates giving interviews and they can ask Davao City-based journalists about it.
"Huwag kayong pumunta. Make it a first in the history of this Republic. Do not cover me... PTV-4 nalang kayo makinig. I am asking you guys do not ever ever come back," he said.
"I am telling the networks. Do not come here. I do not need you. I will just go around and tell the people that this is the program of government and you would know it," he added.
Duterte then dared the reporters to "kill" journalism.
“As a matter of fact, I'm challenging you guys. Kill journalism. Stop journalism in the country. If you're worth your salt, you should accept the challenge. Pagka hindi, mababa na ang tingin ko sa inyo. Para kayong takot,” he ended the topic.
Pressed by GMA News anchor and reporter Mariz Umali what he meant by "killing journalism," Duterte said he was taken out of context.
“I was taken out of context. There's no sense when you say ‘kill journalism’. You cannot connect the two words,” Duterte said.
“Kill journalism here [Davao City]. Do not come here anymore,” he added.
He said that he cannot stop journalists from doing their jobs. But if they want to heed groups' calls to boycott him, they can sure choose to "kill journalism here".
"I cannot stop you. If you do not want to come here, to boycott me, kill journalism here. Kung ayaw na ninyo magpunta, eh di wala na journalism. How can I kill journalism?" Duterte said.
"Ibig kong sabihin, 'Wag ka na,' If you want, you can kill journalism here. Then, I will rely on the government [media]. Because that is the threat. P***** i**," he said. —Trisha Macas/NB, GMA News