I say legitimacy because this is actually the bone of contention and the reason for the uproar.
I was all ears to what Duterte was saying during the conference and at no instance did he declare that media people are normal or natural fair game.
What he made clear however, is that if a media person is killed, it could be that he or she has committed something wrong that whoever retaliated fatally must have been grievously violated.
What this means is that not because you are in that vocation to write and/or broadcast it in the air that you have an unrestricted freedom to be abusive, vicious and destructive of the person and his family’s good name and reputation.
Duterte was making the public understand that the freedom of the press will not and cannot guarantee a media person’s safety if that is how he goes about in his work, more so if what he is writing and mouthing about is far from the truth.
We all know how revolting corruption, criminality and drug menace are to Duterte. We see it in his intonation, his facial expression and in his body language.
Now, does this mean that corruption does not exist among media people?
Over 16 million Filipinos, here and abroad, gave Duterte the mandate to effect change and this is what he promised to do if elected, which means that wherever corruption, criminality and drug menace exist, he will try to put an end to it.
It is not therefore one’s vocation or one’s personality that gets one into trouble and be at the cross-hair of some authority’s eyes.
It is every person’s unlawful deeds, wherever he is working at, that get the better of him, which results sometimes in his being eliminated on the face of the earth. It cannot be truer now under the incoming administration of Duterte.
We want change and change could come sooner, easy and peacefully if we start it within ourselves first. This is the least we can do as citizens in helping Duterte. We have that moral obligation to cooperate. It is for the country’s and our own good.
The last is that let us all give Duterte a chance to prove his mettle in governing the whole country. After all nobody else is answerable but him.