Supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte bashed journalist Jessica Soho over an online story accusing her of telling the President that he cannot file an impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
The title itself, “Jessica Soho: Excuse me, hindi ka pwedeng magpa-impeach Duterte!” is a clickbait that tries to mislead people into thinking negatively about Soho because when we opened the accompanying YouTube video in the links provided, that was not what Soho was trying to say.
Blogs dutertetrends.altervista.org and newsportalph.info carried the story, which merely contains a YouTube video that is over 22 minutes long.
If you rely on the title alone, you would really think that Soho told off Duterte that it was not viable for him to file an impeachment complaint himself against other government officials.
However, the YouTube video actually showed a clip of Soho anchoring her program “State of the Nation” on GMA News TV, where she asked reporter Joseph Morong if President Duterte himself can file a complaint against Sereno and Morales.
Here’s a bit of the exchange between Soho and Morong right at the start of the video:
Soho: Joseph, ang wording ni President ay ipapa-impeach niya. Strictly and legally speaking, can he do that? Can you enlighten us on the law? Can the president himself have an official impeached on his own?
Morong: Personally, parang dapat iuutos yan kasi it will not look very good because ang Ombudsman is a constitutionally predicted commission/body and then kung pinag-uusapan natin itong si Supreme Court Chief Justice, that’s a co-equal branch of government. So what we may see are allies of the President filing charges against these two heads of government, itong si Ombudsman Morales at si Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno.
So, see? Soho simply asked the reporter whether President Duterte can “strictly and legally” lodge an impeachment complaint against other government officials. Unlike what the title seemed to be insinuating, Soho did not tell Duterte that he cannot file the complaint himself.
Unfortunately, some Duterte Facebook fan pages, like “President Duterte Astig Supporters” and “Pres. Rody Duterte ‘Partner for Change,’” were quick to jump to the wrong conclusion about Soho’s question and spread the story on social media, causing other netizens to slam Soho for what she allegedly told the President.
The fan pages made the intent to spread misinformation by using this caption, “OMG! Jessica Soho sinabihan si Pres. Duterte na di daw ito pweding magpa impeach? di kalang pala reporter, abogado kana rin pala ngayon? Anong masasabi nyo dito mga ka DDS? watch and share po ng makita ito ng sambayanan..”
The netizens launched straight into calling Soho “biased,” “dilawan,” “bayaran,” among other things, without even checking out the YouTube video. If they did, they would have immediately found out that they were duped by the false claim of the title.