Press Release
January 31, 2017

Cayetano calls out Rappler over personal attacks
"Why resort to name calling?"

"Bakit kailangan mag personalan, use ad hominem, resort to name calling?"

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano had this to say in response to Rappler's recent Facebook post, which portrayed him, social media blogger Mocha Uson, and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre as "dogs" of the administration.

In a Facebook post shared by the Senator on Monday (January 30), he questioned Rappler's motive in publishing the meme in the first place.

"This meme speaks a thousand words about Rappler, the person who authored it and your editors... First of all, why the meme? Have you done that for past politicians (especially those you like and favor)," Cayetano said in his post.

"... [T]he biggest question is why such a meme existed in your office? Is Rappler doubling as a social media propaganda machine? Didn't Rappler publish an article on weaponizing the internet," he added.

The senator decried the online news organization's apparent lack of objectivity when it comes to depicting allies and supporters of the Duterte administration.

"Does supporting and believing in the Duterte administration make us dogs/tuta? Does anything in my 24 years of service [in] government point to that? Haven't I stood up even at the risk of my life, when the country needed me to stand up and lend my voice," he said.

He further pointed out that although the original post was deleted a few minutes after it was published, Rappler did not issue any proper apology to Uson and Aguirre.

"If a Cabinet Member, Senator, or Congressman depicted you as dogs and twisted the good value of loyalty to the appearance of being a 'tuta,' the media will be in an uproar. Media organizations will demand ethics cases, boycotts, and maybe resignations," he said.

"Yet you posted a simple apology not even directed to Sec. Aguirre nor to Mocha (never mind me, I'm used to being a whipping boy anyway)."

Cayetano maintained that despite being a target of negative coverage in the past, he remains committed to protecting the freedom of the press and promoting the principles of transparency and accountability in government.

"I have always respected your media organization and reporters even when I disagreed with them, and yes, even when untrue or nasty things were written about me. That's because I believe in the freedom of the press, the value of information and transparency and in the basic human value of respect," he said.

"I assume you are apologizing for your actions not just for getting caught... So since it's (Chinese) New Year and since the BIBLE says forgive 7 times 77, I forgive you," he ended.

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