CLAIM: The late ex-president Cory Aquino was more hostile to journalists compared with former president Rodrigo Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 



In a post on X, user Zen Nepomuceno left key details missing when they implied that the late ex-president Cory Aquino was more hostile to the press compared with former president Rodrigo Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr..

Is this comparison warranted by the facts?

While Aquino’s libel suit against journalist Luis Beltran was widely characterized as an assault on press freedom, it is also important to note that Duterte’s term was also marked by attacks on the press. 

Under Duterte, the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked the corporate registration of Rappler, the news website co-founded by Nobel laureate Maria Ressa, over allegations that its capital raising circumvented the constitutional ban on foreign equity in media. This also became the subject of a tax evasion case. The tax cases have been thrown out by the courts.

Duterte vowed to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal and in 2020, the country’s largest media network went off air.

The former president also called Inquirer and ABS-CBN reporters shameless… those sons of whore journalists” in one of his speeches.

Marcos Jr. refused to attend media debates during the 2022 presidential campaign, except for one organized by the pro-Duterte SMNI, and avoided interviews he deemed “anti-Marcos.” 

The practice of inviting bloggers, pro-Marcos influencers, and partisan media, along with their supporters, to cover presidential events, a practice from the Duterte era, continues.

The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility has identified striking similarities between Marcos Sr.’s regime and the Marcos Jr. administration, including the use of government agencies and social media for propaganda, attacks on journalists, crony press practices, media selectivity, and propaganda films.

The tweet has so far gained 102 likes, 23 retweets, and 21 comments, most of which favor the statement. Roselyn Dapiton


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