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Roque on reason Rappler journo barred from entering Palace: Bwisit sa kanya ang Presidente



Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte ordered to prevent Rappler reporter Pia Ranada from entering Malacañang Palace because the president was irritated at her.

“Itinapon po niya (Ranada) ang sabaw. Alam mo tao rin naman ang Presidente at saka kahit sino namang peryodista, alam nila na kinakailangan pangalagaan din ang relasyon sa mga news source, dahil ang kalayaan naman ng malayang pamamahayag hindi kasama diyan iyong pagkakaroon ng mabuting relasyon, ‘pag sinira mo iyang relasyon na iyan, well, mawawalan ka ng access,” Roque said.

He then clarified that Ranada can keep covering Malacañang events and writing whatever she wants to write, even fake news, except having access to Duterte.

“Kung kaligayahan niya iyan, ituloy niya iyan. Kaya nga po walang paglabag, walang pagsusupil sa kalayaan ng pamamahayag,” Roque said.

“And hindi lang siya pupuwede ay magkaroon ngayon ng access sa Presidente dahil bwisit sa kanya ang Presidente,” Roque added in an interview with radio station DZMM on February 21.

The presidential spokesperson said Rappler can still watch PTV4’s news coverage or Facebook Live coverage of Malacañang press briefings and other events. He added that he would even reply to Ranada’s text messages if she would text him about certain issues.


“Ang sinasabi ko, nasaan ang pagsupil ng press freedom diyan, meron ba kaming sinensor, meron ba kaming artikulo na hindi pinayagang mapublish, sa totoo lang po kung kami ay nanunupil ng press freedom, ‘di wala na sanang nasulat ang Rappler, dahil wala namang mabuting sinusulat iyan tungkol kay Presidente. Patuloy po ang pagsusulat nila pati ng fake news, katunayan po na walang panunupil sa malayang pamamahayag,” Roque said.

Roque said the President’s irritation at Ranada started when Rappler published a report linking Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go to the controversial multi-billion frigate deal.

This contracted Rqoue’s earlier remark about how a government official’s personal dislike is “not a valid reason” to bar a journalist from covering Malacañang events.

He told the members of the Malacañang Press Corps during a press briefing on February 20, “It is not a ground because someone dislikes you, no!”

Roque’s “bwisit sa kanya” remark was also not in line with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea’s reason for barring Ranada from the Palace – that it was merely an action implementing the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision against Rappler.

Medialdea’s office said that SEC’s decision to revoke Rappler’s license also meant that the media entity requires a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals.

Roque further explained that despite the SEC decision, Duterte allowed Ranada to keep covering presidential events last month because Duterte liked her and treated her as his grandchild.

“Yung sa SEC talagang sinabihan na si Presidente ng marami, ‘Wag na nating papasukin yan dahil until magkaroon ng TRO talagang effective na yan.’ Pero talagang Presidente na ang nagsabi, ‘Hayaan mo siya diyan.’ Dahil alam mo naman, talagang tinuturing ni Presidente na parang apo niya yan si Pia,” the spokesperson said.

“Kasi kung SEC decision nga lang pagkalabas ng pagkalabas ng desisyon na iyan, marami nang nagsabi, sa legal department ng Malacañang na dapat talagang hindi na siya payagan. Si Presidente pa ang nagsabi, hayaan ninyo iyan habang hindi pinal. Nagbago lang talaga ang posisyon ng Presidente nitong puro kasinungalingan na ang sinasabi ng Rappler,” he added.

However, the President’s decision changed when he “lost confidence” in Rappler.

“Pero ang Presidente rin ang nag-utos noong alas dos ng hapon na talagang hindi na pupuwede ang Rappler sa Malacañang dahil nawalan na nga ng tiwala ang Presidente diyan sa Rappler,” Roque explained.

Ranada was barred from entering Malacañang on February 20.

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’



President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks


His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show



Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.


Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal



Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.


In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

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