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Filipino journos react to Trump supporters storming US Capitol; relate it to Duterte’s media attacks

With Trump and his supporters storming the US Capitol building and mounting attacks on media practitioners, Filipino journalists are reminded of how important their jobs are—and what the Duterte administration has done to diminish it.

As scenes at the US Capitol building continued to rage, Filipino journalists couldn’t help but react to how their contemporaries have both worked during the siege.

This 7-minute report from iTV News’ Robert Moore captured and summed up the scenes that have made global headlines on January 7 (January 6 in the US):

Moore and his crew’s work has garnered praise from local reporters, dubbing it as a brilliant piece of journalistic work.

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, however, underscored the scenes with an important warning.

“If you haven’t seen the impact of hate and conspiracy theories left unchecked on social media… watch,” she said, almost as if she were sending a warning.

Another video, however, showed just how grim it was to be reporting in Washington, DC at that moment.

This video from NBC’s Shomari Stone showed how Trump supporters took US President Donald Trump’s message of “the media is the enemy of the people” to heart—and literally attacked crews from the Associated Press.

ABS-CBN reporter and ANC anchor TJ Manotoc had a few choice words for the outgoing POTUS.

Another angle of the same scene, this time taken by news agency AFP, showed Trump supporters continuing to attack media personnel—and driving them away from the US Capitol grounds yelling “CNN sucks”.

Filipino journalists who shared this video came out with a stern warning about demonizing media, especially news agencies.

Some, like Rappler producer Nick Villavecer, raised concerns about the consequences for the crew if this were to happen in the Philippines.

CBS News journalist Barnaby Lo would zero in on the reason why this happened in the first place:

For his part, neither Trump nor anyone from his camp appear at all at the US Capitol building, owing more likely to the fact that their lives would have been in danger if they did.

Stark reminder for media or for Filipinos?

With the 2022 National Elections appearing larger on the horizon, these sights in Washington, DC should serve as a warning to Filipinos.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who at one point said Trump deserved to be re-elected, is a parallel of sorts for the outgoing POTUS.

Duterte has expressed his distaste for local media about as frequently as Trump, ultimately culminating in the closure of local media giant ABS-CBN and the expulsion of online news agency Rappler from the Malacañang Press Corps.

Though he would tell reporters at the beginning of his term that they can be as critical of him as they want, he has always fired back with rhetoric similar to Trump’s—albeit in a more legal way.

His attacks on the media have also emboldened some of his most ardent supporters to do some “reporting” of their own, often relying on political bloggers supportive of his administration to push the government’s agenda.

These bloggers would fuel his horde of supporters, called Duterte Diehard Supporters, to come up with their own versions of local news that they would then share on social media.

He would, of course, backtrack on some of his attacks on the media after looking through reports himself—which begs the question: who has been feeding him false information, leading him to attack the media he asked to be his biggest critics to begin with?

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