Saturday, May 25

Journ coordinator quits as Times editor over ‘matrix’ story

By JOAHNA LEI E. CASILAO

file photo by JAMIE LOUISE C. JIMENO/THE FLAME

UPDATED: Apr. 25, 6:55 p.m.

THE COORDINATOR of the Journalism program resigned from his post as managing editor of The Manila Times following the newspaper’s publication of an article linking various media outlets to an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Felipe Salvosa II left the publication on Wednesday because he “didn’t agree with the publication of the ‘matrix’ story” tagging the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Vera Files, Rappler, and the National Union of People’s Lawyers in an ouster plot.

Also tagged in the story was journalism lecturer Karol Ilagan from the PCIJ. The media organization has renounced the matrix as “wrong on many points” in a statement.

“After that, I felt it was time to go. We always tell students: It’s not news if it’s not true. I felt I needed to uphold that principle now more than ever,” Salvosa told the Flame.

The front-page article on the matrix released by Malacañang was written by Times Chairman Emeritus Dante Ang. He is also Duterte’s special envoy for international public relations.

Salvosa posted on his social media accounts on the day the story was released: “A diagram is by no means an evidence of ‘destabilization’ or an ‘ouster plot.’ It is a very huge stretch for anyone to accuse PCIJ, Vera Files and Rappler of actively plotting to unseat the President. I know people there and they are not coup plotters.”

Salvosa was reportedly asked by Ang to resign over his posts, but the journalism coordinator said he had been planning to leave anyway.

In a statement, The Manila Times claimed that Salvosa did not object to the “matrix” story before it was released, adding that he was “unethical” for posting a statement on his personal social media accounts without first clarifying the issue with Ang.

The Times also insisted on the legitimacy of their story, which they said underwent a “background check” conducted by Ang himself.

A journalism professor since 2005, Salvosa was appointed managing editor of the Times on July 1, 2016. A year later, he became the head of the University’s journalism program.

Prior to his stint at the Times, he had also worked with the Manila Office of the London-based Financial Times and BusinessWorld. F

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