MANILA -- The Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) on Thursday "took exception" to President Rodrigo Duterte's remarks that it has been unfair in its coverage of the current administration.
"Since its founding in 1985, the Inquirer has upheld the highest standards of excellence in journalism," the Inquirer said in a statement signed by Jose Ma. Nolasco, its executive editor.
Aside from doing its best to get the administration's side of any story, it also runs a piece in its opinion section every week, where Cabinet officials and even Duterte explain administration policy, the paper said.
It added, its numerous awards can also attest to its "adherence to accuracy, fairness, and balance in its reporting."
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) also objected to Duterte's anti-media tirade, and called it "unwarranted" and "absolutely twisted."
"Your curses and your threats cannot and will not prevent us, the community of independent Filipino journalists, from fulfilling our duty to inform the people as best we can of what is happening to our country, whether you agree with what we report or not," NUJP said in a statement.
In a speech at Malacanang during the mass oathtaking of newly appointed officials, Duterte accused the Inquirer along with ABS-CBN News that they have "never been fair" in reporting about him. He also accused the two of slanting stories and supposedly letting financial gain cloud their reporting.
He hit the Inquirer for its alleged biased coverage on the war on drugs, and nixed ABS-CBN News again for reporting during the 2016 campaign period on Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's allegations that Duterte did not declare over P200 million in his 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN).
"If there is really P200 million in my account, magre-resign ako, iyan ang totoo (I will resign, that is the truth). Inquirer pati ABS-CBN, mga bull**** kayo, dapat may magsabi sa inyo (someone should tell you), p******** ninyo," he said.
He also attacked the owners of the two papers, the Prieto and Lopez families, and threatened to create his own program in government-run PTV-4, where he would say rude things daily about the media companies.
While Duterte previously confirmed that he had a bank account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch in Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City, he insisted it did not contain the amount stated by Trillanes.
Earlier this year, Trillanes again brought up the issue, and alleged a larger amount was in the firebrand leader's bank account, which Duterte again denied.
ABS-CBN News is the news division of ABS-CBN Corp.