Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella accused Rappler of “misrepresenting” his statement over President Rodrigo Duterte being fed wrong information about the European Union. However, Rappler stood by its story, countering Palace’s accusation with the official transcript of which they based the story.
Abella threw the accusation against the online news site on October 13 after Rappler’s story, “Malacañang admits Duterte ‘being fed wrong info’ on EU,” came out.
Rappler quoted the first three paragraphs of the report:
“Malacañang admitted that President Rodrigo Duterte was “being fed the wrong information” after the Chief Executive threatened to expel European diplomats based on the wrong premise.
Because Duterte’s statement was based on wrong information, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella then clarified on Friday, October 13, that “there’s no directive” for ambassadors of the European Union (EU) to leave the Philippines within 24 hours.
“It’s not a question of being misinformed. That means to say he was being fed the wrong information,” Abella said in a press briefing on Friday.”
In response to this, Abella released a statement hitting Rappler for “brazenly misrepresenting” his statement on President Duterte’s mistaken reaction over the EU allegedly wanting to expel the Philippines from the UN.
From the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson –
On Rappler’s misrepresenting Malacanang statement
Rappler in its article, “Malacanang Admits Duterte Being Fed Wrong Info on EU,” dated October 13, brazenly misrepresents Spokesperson Ernesto Abella’s explanation that the President was responding to media’s false report of the fake “EU Mission”.
It is this kind of journalism that reinforces the perception that Rappler has a hidden agenda. One that is far from the truth.
But to counter Abella’s statement, Rappler posted a portion of the official Malacañang manuscript showing the conversation between the presidential spokesperson, GMA News reporter Joseph Morong, and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. They also said, “We stand by our story.”
Mr. Morong: So sir, uhm sir, ibig bang sabihin niyan, medyo misinformed si Presidente?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: It’s not a question of being misinformed. Basically, ‘yun ang… Come again?
Mr. Morong: Misled siguro by certain reports?
PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Basically, he was reacting to what he was reading, okay. He was reacting to what he was reading and… So it’s not a question of being misinformed. That means to say he was being fed the wrong information, but based on…
SEC. LOPEZ: Kung ano ‘yung nasa news. Frankly, kami rin eh. Ako, when I saw that, “Ba’t ito na naman ‘to? Sino ‘to?” Kasi, nung – when we talked to the guys in the EU, hindi naman ganyan ‘yung dating nila, ‘yung approach nila eh. Parang tingin ko nga, somebody asked them to come over at manggalit eh, you know?
The exchange did contain the phrase “he was being fed the wrong information,” as uttered by Abella while referring to President Duterte.
Duterte threatened to expel the ambassadors from the European Union countries after the Human Rights Watch and some European socialists provided a scenario that might have the Philippines expelled from the United Nations. The EU actually did not say anything about expelling the Philippines from the UN, but Duterte was unapologetic about his remarks against the EU and even blamed the ambassador for staying silent about the arrival of the socialists in the Philippines.