President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s executive assistant Christopher “Bong” Go faced the media in the early morning of June 3 (Saturday) and stated that there will no longer be any live press conferences for the incoming President for now to avoid any “mistakes.”
“Sa ngayon wala munang press con para walang mali (For now, there are no more press conference so that there won’t be any mistakes),” Go stated in an chance interview.
Go also clarified that future press releases will be coursed through state-owned stations to avoid misinterpretation.
“Iko-course-through niya (President-elect) through state-owned stations — mga press releases, interviews (The President-elect will course his press releases and interviews through state-owned stations),” Go specified.
This action by the Duterte camp is attributed to his earlier conflicts with critical Luzon-based media. Duterte earned criticism for his earlier statement that murdered journalists were corrupt and deserved to be killed and for whistling at a female correspondent citing “freedom of expression” to do so.
The media was later barred from covering the “One Love, One Nation” thanksgiving party live at the Crocodile Park in Davao City on June 4, a day after the announcement from Go. The thanksgiving event for President-elect Duterte was streamed live on People’s Television Network.
Go also sent a seemingly adversarial text message to media organizations which reinforced Duterte’s stand on excluding Manila-based press.
“Kung ayaw niyo daw mag-boycott sa kanya, siya daw mag-boycott sa inyo (If you don’t want to boycott him, then he’ll be the one to boycott you),” Go said in a text message on behalf of the President-elect.
“Anyway, Mayor pa naman siya (President-elect Duterte) at si PNoy ang pres (Anyway, Duterte is still mayor and President Aquino is the president),” Go added in his text message.