By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter
THE MANILA TIMES, in a statement on Thursday, disputed a social-media post by its managing editor that he resigned from the newspaper on Wednesday.
“I have resigned from the Manila Times, effective 24 April 2019. I would like to thank Klink Ang, president and CEO, for the opportunity,” Times managing editor Felipe F. Salvosa II said on his private Facebook account on Thursday, referring to Dante “Klink” Ang II. Times on Monday published as banner story the article of its Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang, linking journalists and news organizations to an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
That Monday, Mr. Salvosa wrote on Facebook, “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 in these news organizations and they are not coup plotters.”
In its statement, the Times said, “The Manila Times wishes to set the record straight regarding the recent departure of Mr. Felipe Salvosa from this publication as managing editor.”
The newspaper also said: “First, Mr. Salvosa did not resign; he was asked to do so. He was quoted as such in some reports, but the other publications have twisted that fact to smear the reputation of his former employer.”
“He behaved unethically when he posted a statement on social media without first notifying or clarifying with our Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Dante A. Ang, the issues that he had with the story ‘Oust-Duterte plot bared,’ written by the owner himself.”
“Mr. Salvosa did not object to the story to our Chairman Emeritus, nor did the former managing editor suggest ways of rewriting or handling the piece,” the newspaper pointed out further.
The Times also stood by Mr. Ang’s story, saying “the oust-plot story was not a PR piece. It was a legitimate news item.”
The Times said further: “As was explained to Mr. Salvosa, our Chairman Emeritus had a credible source — no less than the Office of the President of the Philippines. Mr. Salvosa was also informed that our Chairman Emeritus did his own background check, using several sources, before submitting his draft for editing. There was also an effort to solicit a reaction from at least one of the names mentioned, but that could not be secured as of press time on Sunday.”
In a related development, the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), which was also linked to the alleged ouster plot, filed a manifestation on Wednesday seeking protection from the Supreme Court (SC).
In its eight-page manifestation, NUPL described the allegations against the group as “dangerous claims.”
“These malicious statements and dangerous claims, as well as the contrived ‘matrix’ above, baseless and reckless as they are, compel the Petitioners to again seek at this time for the Honorable Court’s protection and reiterate their prayer for a temporary protection order,” NUPL said.
“The continued vilification, harassment and threats to the life, security and liberty of the petitioners must stop now. We ask Your Honors to stand by your lawyers,” the group also said.
Sought for comment on The Manila Times’ statement, Mr. Salvosa said in a text message late Thursday: “Their statement stands for itself, let the readers judge it. I thank The Times for the opportunity of working for Asia’s oldest English-language daily.”