Duterte to Manila media: Discern joke from truth

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Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said journalists from Metro Manila should undergo a briefing from Davao-based reporters to learn how to differentiate when he was joking and when he was serious with his statements.

Davao City (CNN Philippines) — Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gave a word of advice on Tuesday (December 15) to journalists not to take all of his statements as facts considering his penchant for making fun of things seriously taken by others.

Duterte said many of the journalists from Metro Manila did not know how to discern when he was stating a fact and when he was making fun of the issue at hand.

He said national journalists should undergo a briefing from the Davao-based media who were already accustomed to his habit of jesting.

The presidential aspirant hinted that "when something is ridiculous it has to be a joke".

Duterte was referring to his claim of having killed 1,700 criminals in the city when asked by the Manila-based media about the accusation of Amnesty International that he ordered the killing of about 700 criminals.

Related: CHR to probe Duterte's alleged rights abuses

His statement was seriously taken and reported by reporters. Such admission prompted a fresh round of investigation to be conducted by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Years back, the CHR and DOJ had already conducted the same probe on the summary killings in Davao but no evidence was gathered that could pin down Duterte.

Fellow presidentiable Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Duterte was simply making a hyperbole meant to attract more attention from the public.

The senator said the government should not take Duterte's admission seriously for as long as there was no hard evidence to prove it.