Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, clarified in a letter dated June 23 to British Broadcasting Corp’s (BBC) Director-General Tony Hall that he is not going to sue the network, contrary to recent “fake news” reports circulating.
This happened a week after Trillanes was interviewed via satellite by “Hardtalk,” BBC’s interview program known for throwing hard-hitting questions at its guests.
The interview drew flak as supporters of Duterte were quick to lash out at the senator for his replies when the host tried to pose questions and that seemed to be in favor of the controversial president.
Used to being the target of his political foe, Trillanes, however, brushed off the dissenting remarks thrown at him.
“It is what it is. People who watched the full interview (not the spliced one) are entitled to their own opinions. The haters will hate; the believers will believe,” the senator said in a statement.
He added, “This propaganda machine is also being used to swarm various media organizations and personalities to create an impression that there is an overwhelming support for President Duterte’s deadly war on drugs.”
Along with the letter, Trillanes attached a transcript of the said interview and a list of fake news websites proliferating his alleged plan to sue BBC.
The websites that published the fake story include Our Daily Revelations PH and The Adobo Chronicles.
The senator also expressed that having a BBC interview was a privilege.
“Let me just say that it was an honour to be invited as a resource person on BBC World’s ‘Hardtalk’ program,” Trillanes wrote. “So, please be assured that I have no plans of suing your company. On the contrary, I am very satisfied with how the interview was conducted by Mr. Stephen Sackur, as I was given a chance to give my insights about the real situation in our country.”
He went on to say that the appearance was “one of the proudest moments in my public life.”
Stephen Sackur, “Hardtalk’s” host, laid down the idea that Duterte is “well-liked” by most of the Filipinos, citing the president’s “high satisfaction ratings” amidst various allegations against him.
“The bulk of the Filipino people are not really aware on the ground. The propaganda machine is very, very effective. The bulk of the Filipino public are busy with their day-to-day living. They don’t really get to know the magnitude of the damage Duterte has done,” Trillanes said during the interview.
After Trillanes gave his explanation, Sackur said that the senator’s remarks were “out of tune” and inharmonious” with the sentiments of many Filipinos.
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