Tell it to SunStar: How to hush the press

FOR the sheer reason that he was unfairly treated during the campaign season, President Rodrigo Duterte has been tooth and nail in threatening giant media network ABS-CBN of closure.

Some three months before the network’s franchise concludes, and which would need the approval of Congress for a renewal, the President suggests that the media firm should rather put itself up for sale.

This thing reminds me of an incident years ago, when Duterte was still mayor of Davao City. I was with friends in a restaurant and our conversation ended up on politics. I made a comment about something in Davao City, and having raised my voice a little bit, my friends, appearing suddenly fearful, gestured quickly to hush me right then.

They explained that I shouldn’t be saying what I said in public. I was taken aback by their warning. Why? Was free expression dead in that city?

What the President is doing to the media firm is simply something he had done on a small scale in Davao City—silencing enemies. (By Maning Perez, Cebu City)