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Manila Times managing editor resigns over Duterte ouster plot story

Manila Times managing editor Felipe “Ipe” Salvosa resigned from his post yesterday, just two days after the newspaper’s owner published a story that linked several media organizations to an alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Salvosa said today that he didn’t agree with the publication of the ouster plot story which was written by Manila Times’ chairman emeritus and columnist Dante Ang. Ang is also Duterte’s current special envoy for international public relations.

“I didn’t agree with the publication of the ‘matrix’ story. After that [article was published] I felt it was time to go,” Salvosa told Coconuts Manila in a message.

The Manila Times published on Monday an “association matrix” of journalists and organizations who are allegedly out to remove Duterte from office. It alleged that the organizations and journalists were behind a series of viral videos known as Ang Totoong Narco List (The Real Narco List) that accuses Duterte’s camp of benefitting from the illegal drug trade.

The organizations mentioned in the matrix were news website Rappler, non-profit Vera Files, the National Union of People’s Lawyers, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ). These groups have denied being involved in the plot. The PCIJ also called the report “wrong on many points.”

Salvosa, a journalism professor and coordinator of the journalism program at the University of Santo Tomas, told CNN Philippines that Manila Times had asked him to leave because of his social media posts that questioned the accuracy of the news report.

“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,” he posted on Twitter on the same day the matrix story was published.

Salvosa told Rappler that he protested against Ang’s story, saying it had loopholes, but Ang allegedly insisted on publishing it.

This article, Manila Times managing editor resigns over Duterte ouster plot story, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!