3 May 2019

This so-called matrix is just a form of fear-mongering. It fuels fear and sends a chilling effect to human rights lawyers and journalists who are critical of this administration. Again, this has to be verified, and Sec. Panelo’s admission that his copy of matrix did not come from the President but from an unknown number is an irresponsible act.

It’s always obligatory for any government official, especially from the executive department, to validate any information and statement that they release to the media and the public. It’s incumbent upon them to practice the highest diligence on matters concerning the citizens. This also sets a dangerous precedent. These irresponsible claims could open floodgates to baseless arrests and charges. 

Do I agree that President Duterte is an “honest man”? His past statements, often interpreted by Panelo as jokes, prove otherwise. But he’s obliged and mandated to be honest. As the Chief Executive, honesty is always expected of him. Honesty is always expected of any public servant. Duterte’s words are like direct orders that’s why he should be impeccable. His accusations should be verified lest he wants to be seen as politicking and peddling “fake news.”

Mr. President ‘wag mong targetin ang media, dahil pag tinarget mo ang media, tinatarget mo ang pamilyag Pilipino dahil sila po ang isa sa unang tinatakbuhan ng mga Pilipino para magsalita para sa kanila. ###

Samira Gutoc, an Otso Diretso senatorial candidate, champions peace. She was recognized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as Filipino of the Year in 2017 and by the Junior Chamber International as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM).