Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte threatens media moguls' children over drug war coverage

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatens press over coverage of drugs war

The Filipino president frequently responds to criticism with abuse

Friday, March 31, 2017

The president of the Philippines has warned two leading media outlets over their coverage of his war on drugs, and specifically vowed to humiliate the children of their "oligarch" bosses.

Rodrigo Duterte, the self-styled 'Hitler of the Philippines', insisted he wasn't threatening the media outlets, but went on to say the government TV station could be used against their owners.

The comments were directed at the Prieto and Lopez families, who own the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper and TV broadcaster ABS-CBN respectively. Both outlets have reported extensively on Mr Duterte's brutal crackdown on drug dealers, which officials say has left more than 2,500 people dead in police raids since his election last June.

Despite the widespread criticism of the crackdown, specifically the perception that Mr Duterte has created an environment that abets vigilante justice and extreme violence, he believes the "corrupt media" is to blame for his society's problems.

He said in a speech: “I’m not threatening [ABS-CBN and the Philippine Daily Inquirer] but someday their karma will catch up with them. They’re shameless, those sons of whore journalists.”

Mr Duterte continued by calling Prieto and Lopez "oligarchs" and said that, if necessary, he would "go through your lives and those of your children” on government television.

The president's frequent response to criticism is foul-mouthed abuse. In one notable incident, he branded Barack Obama a "son of a whore" after the former US President questioned his policies.