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Facebook restores journalists’ page with anti-Duterte post

/ 11:15 AM June 07, 2016

Two days after it posted a statement critical of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, Facebook on Tuesday restored the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (Ejap) Facebook page.

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In a status, the Ejap posted: “WE ARE BACK!”

Last Saturday, Ejap posted a statement condemning Duterte’s tirades against the media, saying that these pronouncements “cast doubts on the industry’s aspirations.”

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“Mr. Duterte’s recent pronouncement justifying the killing of some practitioners for alleged corrupt practices, however, casts doubts on the industry’s aspirations, unjustifiably threatening the lives of journalists,” a part of the statement read.

Ejap said that while journalists have grown accustomed to being discredited by slighted parties, the statement of the President-elect “can be construed as soliciting violence” against media practitioners.

“We in Ejap find his pronouncement inappropriate, most especially for someone in his stature who’s supposed to defend the rule of law,” the group said.

By noon of June 4, the post had more than 500 views, 22 shares, less than 100 likes and 1 comment. But by Saturday evening, the Ejap Pilipinas Facebook page became inaccessible.

It was only restored on Tuesday morning after Ejap reached out to Facebook representatives.

Various local and international media groups slammed Duterte after he issued a sweeping statement on how he would address the media killings in the Philippines, which is the second most dangerous country for journalists in the world.

READ: Duterte triggers outrage

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In a press conference last week, Duterte said: “Even if you are a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a b***.”

“Most of those killed were paid to take sides or they got paid but they failed (to deliver). Or they took money but still hit them,” he added.

While these remarks sparked outrage from various press groups, the anti-establishment President-elect remained unapologetic.

Responding to criticism against his statements, the firebrand threatened to shun the media throughout the whole duration of his term.

‘That’s it. I don’t want to be interviewed. If I commit a mistake, there will be more criticisms,” Duterte said. “So it’s better (if there’s) no interview, no criticisms, no wrong statements, no nothing. (I will just) shut up. I really don’t want it,” he told TV-5 reporter France Noguera in a chance interview on Sunday night.

READ: Duterte to media: That’s it, no interviews in my term

Last week, the Facebook post of veteran journalist Ed Lingao was also taken down twice after it allegedly “violated Facebook community standards.”

Lingao’s post aired his opposition against the burial of late President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani—a move supported by Duterte because the late dictator was also a soldier. CDG/rga

READ: Facebook apologizes for removing journo’s anti-Marcos post

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TAGS: Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (Ejap), Facebook, Media, Rodrigo Duterte
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