[Statement] PCIJ on ‘Oust-Duterte plot’: Wrong report, on many counts

PCIJ Statement on The Manila Times‘s report on “Oust-Duterte plot”, 22 April 2019

The Manila Times’s “association matrix” and story about a supposed “oust-Duterte plot” that include journalists with the PCIJ are wrong on many points.

1. PCIJ had absolutely not nor ever received any email from Ms. Ellen Tordesillas on the link to the so-called “narcolist video” of “Bikoy.” PCIJ has neither posted nor distributed any stories or commentaries on the “narcolist video” of “Bikoy.” The video was posted on YouTube from where the news media and citizens got to watch it. That is where the so-called “cybercrime experts” of the unnamed “highly placed source in the Office of the President” should look instead.

2. The Manila Times story admits to a crime that may have been committed, and fundamental freedoms that may have been violated.It offers tacit admission that these “experts,” apparently working with the Office of the President, had invaded the privacy of the emails and correspondence of journalists now being singled out.

3. For the record, the “matrix” had linked at least five persons to the PCIJ who are in fact no longer in PCIJ’s employ.Three of the five are personnel who had resigned from as far back as March 2018 to January 2019. Two others, OtsoDiretso candidate for senator Jose Manuel Diokno and Summit Media publisher Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, had quit their posts in the PCIJ’s Board of Editors. Diokno resigned before the campaign period started.

4. PCIJ, a non-stock, not-for-profit independent media organization, is funded in various ways: revenues from sale of publications and video, contributions from PCIJ patrons, interest income from an endowment fund that Ford Foundation gave in 2003, and grants for projects, from both local and foreign sources.

Foreign funding is not equivalent to foreign ownership of for-profit media. Truth be told, government agencies are the biggest recipients of foreign funding from the United States, Japan, China, Australia, and other multilateral and bilateral agencies.

For instance, since 2017, the state-run People’s Television (PTV-4) and the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) have received from China’s state-run media donations of digital radio and other broadcast equipment; brought to China a number of journalists and columnists, including those from The Manila Times, via a “professional exchange program”; started to re-broadcast China programs in Manila; and sent PCOO personnel to learn the Chinese language.

Read more, click the link below.

PCIJ on ‘Oust-Duterte plot’: Wrong report, on many counts

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