Let President Duterte prove himself as a leader and stop quibbling over his relationship with the Media

I was asked why am I not posting anything about [President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte (Digong)] and the apparent tension with media. Through our program, #BannerStory, on DZIQ RadyoInquirer, I have articulated my stance and shared my thoughts. On social media, well here's mine, posting for the first time.

The dynamics you see now is what exactly the relationship between subject and the media should be--adversarial in nature so that the inherent role of asking and probing of journalists could continue and remains uninterrupted, protected even.

As long as the right to report and to write what we find out to be true is protected, I am OK with that.

It must be clear that the adversarial relationship should not be misconstrued as a reflection of an individual or a group's prejudices and biases. The probing and the investigation of journalists should only be based on the task of telling the truth to a story no matter who gets hurt to the point of risking your own security or in some instance your own life.

Yes, no story is worth dying for, but as we have seen in the past, death came to many of our colleagues who spoke, wrote and reported about the truth that they found out.

Let the new president be who he really is. He presented himself to the people as he is now and there is no way he is going to change his ways for there is really no template on how a president should lead or behave. The ideal behavior only exists in the mind, dictated by society and  is in a way a reflection of our own standards, sensibilities and choices.

Rodrigo Duterte is now president. How he behaves, how he curse left and right should be the least of our problems and concerns. What we should be concerned about is his actual governance. Duterte should be judged not by his behavior as a person or as an individual but by the kind of leadership and governance that he will do starting Day 1 of his presidency.

If we focus on reporting on this, then we remain true to our calling as journalists.

Duterte promised Change.

His ways are unique, never before experienced by many journalists, more than out of the box, but this is precisely the change that he had been saying all along. He will not be like any other president. He is not your ideal man. He will be his own man. Duterte is the 'Change'.

The success of his presidency depends on him and the men and women he has chosen to join him in governance. He was given the mandate, let him be the leader and the kind of president he wants to be.

As for us journalists, there is only one thing that we should take seriously and that is not ourselves or our feelings when faced or to some extent, mishandled or disrespected by a person, an individual, a president who behaves like Duterte.

We entered this profession with the full awareness that this is not an easy profession. This is a dangerous profession. The glamor that is attached to the profession is only on the surface.We should not expect pampering or accommodation. If for example, we are not allowed or prevented to do our job, we do not complain, but rather we find ways to still report and do our jobs. That is what is expected of us.

I am a product of mentors in the past who told me, "Hindi puwedeng, hindi puwede. By all means get that story".

His mandate is to lead, serve and govern.

Our calling is to tell the truth. He may like or not like what we will report in search for what is true or not. That should not be our problem.

We simply go on and do our task just as he should not be bothered by his personal relationship with media.

We are after all, on two different sides of the fence.

Arlyn Dela Cruz as posted on Facebook:


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