The “One Love, One Nation” thanksgiving party for the President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will be held today, June 4, 2016, at the Crocodile Park in Davao City, Davao del Sur. Access to the celebration which was supposedly open to the public was unexpectedly changed on the morning of Saturday for critical mainstream Luzon-based media who were no longer allowed to cover the event live.
Organizers conveyed to members of the media that there were changes in plans and that they were no longer allowed inside to cover the “One Love, One Nation” live. Various media organizations initially had a designated area near the stage for their live coverage, but this was changed hours after Duterte’s executive assistant Bong Go announced that the President-elect would no longer hold any press conferences. This announcement was the result of Duterte drawing flak for statements he made in his earlier press conferences.
Apart from the alienation and exclusion of Luzon-based mass media critical of the President-elect Duterte, Rappler correspondent Pia Ranada Robles has also received harassment from staunch Duterte supporters online after she brought up the catcalling incident involving GMA News’ female journalist Mariz Umali.
While many have bashed the Rappler reporter, there are some who defended her and argued that she wasn’t being biased as what enraged supporters alleged.
The live footage of the massive thanksgiving event will now be streamed through the Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) and state-run People’s Television Network (PTV4). Go also stated that these all announcements and interviews will be coursed through the state-run television network, PTV4.
In a chance interview, event organizer Kat Dalisay was not able to explain the change in the set-up.
“The higher authorities (combined security government agencies) will be answering that for us,” Dalisay told the reporters.
“Sinabi lang na may bagong protocol na RTVM and PTV4 yung for media rin (They just said that there was a new that RTVM and PTV4 will also cover for media),“ Dalisay added.
Organizers are expecting around 200,000 to 500,000 people at the event. A feeding program and medical mission will be held before the “One Love, One Nation.” The thanksgiving event will feature various artists from Davao, Manila, and elsewhere.