Reporters Without Borders (RWB) is better known internationally as Reporters Sans Frontiers(RSF). For that matter it is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Paris, France that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press, and does consulting job also for the United Nations.
RWB recently came into the picture when President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, in one of his late night press conference, made shocking statements on a potpourri of issues which included his take on the killings of corrupt journalists and his perspective of the scandalous ranking officials of the Catholic Church – all done in Duterte’s trademark of uncouth language.
In the same press con he also tried to defend himself from the attacks of some media people about his seemingly act of sexual harassment when he wolf-whistled at one of the female reporters whose turn it was to interview him.
Obviously, Duterte’s action and statements did not sit well with media people, individually and as an organization, such that they wanted Duterte to apologize.
Knowing Duterte to be forthright and blunt and one not to apologize for what he believes are truth of the ills plaguing Philippine society, the RWB, acting as an umbrella organization, came to the rescue of Filipino journalists.
The act in itself can be considered praiseworthy, but the suggestion given by RWB to our journalists to boycott succeeding press conferences of Duterte, unless the latter apologizes for his is scurrilous and outrageous behavior, is simply stupid.
Filipino journalists know better than anybody else that this type of retaliation or revenge, if you may, against Duterte will not make him change his promise to make this country a better place for Filipinos. That journalists will not cover and write about him is the least of his worries. In fact he welcomes it.
To start with Duterte’s presidency is not about civility, tact and sophistication. Nor is it about dictatorship as others fear.
Duterte’s presidency is starting to be about toughness, brutishness and uncouthness as he is about to lead in fighting corruption, criminality and drug menace that is preventing the nation from progressing while many Filipinos continue to be impoverished because of the unscrupulous politicians and government officials we have working in the guise of public servants who takes advantage of their positions at the expense of the law abiding citizens and the unschooled and poor Filipinos. In so doing he is there to uplift and not oppress the lives of the people.
Duterte’s words and deeds, though seemingly uncultured, signify to the different levels of scum in our society that he means business. This is what is giving Filipinos hope for a better future under the fearless leadership of and exercise of political will by Duterte.
So let Duterte do the job he knows best how and let’s not fuck with him.