HONOLULU, Hawaii (The Adobo Chronicles, Honolulu Bureau) – Two of the Philippines’ largest television networks, ABS-CBN and GMA 7 have announced that they will be laying off almost 50% of their respective news staff effectively immediately.
The lead competing networks made the announcement soon after President-elect Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said through his spokesperson that he will no longer be holding press briefings. Instead, he will be making statements or giving interviews through the state network, PTV.
Duterte has been widely criticized for his recent statement concerning murdered journalists. Some media outlets reported that Duterte was “endorsing” the killing of journalists. The mayor was also attacked by the press for “catcalling” female journalist Mariz Umali during one of his recent briefings. Umali herself she did not expect any apology from Duterte.
Since Duterte’s election, journalists have been swarming the mayor’s temporary office in Davao City, reporting on every single phrase that he uttered and calling him out for what they thought were statements or words that were inappropriate and insensitive. Duterte’s staff have repeatedly said that the mayor’s words are always taken out of context or misinterpreted for the sake of creating sensational headlines.
Since there will no longer be press briefings, ABS-CBN and GMA 7 both said there will no longer be any need to employ reporters to cover the president-elect.
Journalism groups have also called for a boycott of media coverage on Duterte.
Well now, the “boycott” is moot and academic.
Some of the laid off reporters have been re-assigned to cover the entertainment world, including the sensational team AlDub of GMA’s noontime TV show.