NUJP slams ‘foul-mouthed’ Duterte for insulting VERA Files’ Tordesillas, other media workers

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) slammed President Rodrigo Duterte over his recent offensive remarks against journalists, including VERA Files President Ellen Tordesillas.

“Once again, the foul-mouthed misogynist who is the leader of our nation turns to personal insults when he will not or, most likely, cannot offer a credible explanation to his badly concocted and fictitious accusations against critics,” the media group said in a May 14 statement.

In a May 14 statement on Tuesday the foul pronouncements of Duterte against some of their colleagues, including nonprofit media VERA Files president Ellen Tordesillas.

Duterte, asked by reporters May 13 about the fabricated matrix that linked opposition candidates, lawyers and journalists, including Tordesillas, in a plot to oust him, claimed it is authentic.

“Yes, that matrix. Interpret it the way you want, but those lines are really not lines connection. They were a lot of communications there that were recorded,” Duterte said.

The president then vented his ire on Tordesillas, who he said was “every inch of a prostitute.”

Tordesillas’ clapback: “Since Duterte does not have evidence to support his silly matrix he is now resorting to vulgarity—the only language he knows,” the journalist said. “He is not in his right mind. He is a danger to the Filipino people.”

In the same media interview, Duterte also called journalists “professional twisters” paid by what he calls “Western.”

“Those paid, believe me, they are someday you will…they are paid by the western…you’re the ones to be pitied, who will have nothing. They have sponsors, they have admitted it. They cannot organize without the money of the western,” he said.

The NUJP dismissed Duterte’s tirades as the “tactics of the thug who resorts to the bludgeon because he cannot reason, and even then he fails miserably.”

“Alas for him, his fits and tantrums speak more about his character than those he would smear,” it added.

The NUJP threw support behind Tordesillas: “We know for a fact that Ellen possesses more courage than he can ever hope to have beyond his macho posturing. So, too, do the other journalists he vilifies. As do all those who comprise the community of independent Filipino journalists.”

Even prior to his presidency, Duterte has attacked the media on several occasions. He catcalled a GMA News reporter in his hometown Davao City, where the act is prohibited; savaged media outlets such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN News and Rappler; and dared reporters to “kill and stop journalism in this country,” among many others. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte seesaws with media)