The iron-fist image of President Rodrigo Duterte turned gentle on Tuesday night while speaking before the press during his speech at the Malacañang Press Corps Christmas party.
Duterte, who is known for his frank statement towards the media, said that he is not an enemy of the press and assured that his relationship with them is “always adversarial.”
“I am not your enemy. Your quest for truth, that is your business, not mine. At the end of the day, it’s not my property. It’s just public interest,” he said.
“Never mind about our relations. It’s always adversarial. Wala naman tayong galit [We don’t hold grudges]. We do not fight with each other. I do not hate anybody here or else I would not be inviting you to my place,” he added.
The President has been open in criticizing media organizations and television stations for releasing allegedly biased reports and coverage against the administration.
Duterte, however, said that the there’s always two sides to every story.
“Your truth is not my truth and everybody’s truth. There are always two sides of the coin. My truth, your truth, and the public perception,” he said.
“In the meantime, we have work to do. You have your mandate. I have my task. If we happen to meet at a corner and agree, it would be good. But if we find ourselves in disagreement, that is part of our territory,” he added.
During the event, the chief executive serenaded the media and audience singing his favorite songs “Ikaw” and “You Raise Me Up”.
Several officials, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go also belted out their favorite songs.