Columnist slams Rappler for criticizing Duterte's foreign trips as 'costly'

After the big fuss on President Rodrigo Duterte's  health, the current issue right now is his foreign trips which was labeled by some media outlet as 'expensive'.

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A Manila Times' columnist slammed online-only news site Rappler, for labeling Duterte's foreign trips as costly.

"The online-only news site Rappler, funded by Americans and controlled by a mining and property tycoon, has done it again, this time claiming that President Duterte’s “costly” foreign trips reflect his exorbitant lifestyle," said Rigoberto Tiglao in his current article entitled 'Duterte’s 21 foreign trips should be applauded, not ‘rapplered’.

According to Tiglao, Rappler ignored explanations that the 387 million expenses is not just about one reason but it is for international relations.

"Rappler has demonstrated its anti-Duterte bias through a propaganda trick it has invented that I’d call rapplering. which I bet it will do again and again : Distort data to exaggerate things to paint the Duterte regime black," Tiglao said.

On the other hand, Tiglao said instead of nitpicking how much Duterte have spent in his foreign trips, we the people should admire him for initiating diplomatic ties.

"Rather than nitpicking on how much Duterte may have spent in his trips abroad, we should admire that this former mayor of what is really a frontier city has hit the ground running in visiting nearly two dozen countries in order to enhance our diplomatic ties abroad and to strengthen our role in multilateral bodies such as Asean, Apec and the East Asia Summit. His predecessor Aquino visited only 11 countries in his first year in office. I myself had not thought that Duterte with his clumsy, Bisayan English and ill-tailored suits would have the confidence to meet with world leaders," the columnist added.

He has also highlighted that Duterte was able to establish ties with the country which is the   world's second biggest economy despite of the dispute.

"Duterte had moved fast to thaw the very icy diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the world’s second biggest economy, China, that emerged as a result of Aquino and his American-boy foreign secretary Albert del Rosario’s suit against China over the Spratlys dispute. That was the first ever such suit against that emerging superpower despite its territorial disputes with over 20 countries. I’m totally convinced that Duterte’s quick reversal of Aquino’s American-inspired anti-China policy and moves will be one of his biggest accomplishments as president."

In addition, he also mentioned that his 'costly' trip to Russia makes the Philippines closer to the Russian Federation.

Tiglao slammed further Rappler reporte who wrote critically over the President's trip has never travelled abroad.

"If she did, she would have an inkling that foreign trips on government time aren’t as romantic as tourist vacations shown in TV advertisements. Foreign government trips are the most hectic and tiring part of any President’s job. "

Source: Manila Times