MMDA exec in trouble for ‘tokhang’ joke on media

Image from Joel Egco's Facebook account
  • President’s task force on media security head said he is verifying reports of MMDA official’s tasteless joke
  • He called on other reporters to step forward, urged the erring official to stop with threats

MANILA, Philippines – The head of President Rodrigo Duterte’s task force on media security said he is verifying reports that a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) official let loose a tasteless but threatening joke against members of the media.

On his Facebook account, Undersecretary Joel Egco said a reporter told him how the official said he is going to include media members he accused of always writing negative stories about the MMDA in the government’s tokhang campaign.

Egco said his informant and everyone else who heard the official were left unsettled by his joke.

“A reporter I have known for years brought this to my attention. Before I publicly call on the official and lecture him on Administrative Order No. 1, or ‘red flag’ him for such a horrible joke, I’d like to ask other reporters who were there to verify via PM (private message) to me.  Thank you. Surely, my informant claimed they felt the chill,” he wrote.

Egco also reprimanded the official; saying he should just do his job as even Duterte refrains from threatening the media even with a joke.

“He started a joke… let’s see who starts crying,” he said. “Even President Duterte does not do that, sir. Just do your job.”

While Egco did not name the official, he was identified by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as MMDA assistant general manager for planning Jojo Garcia.

In an interview inside MMDA chief Danilo Lim’s office, Garcia supposedly ranted about some reporters who endlessly cast the agency in a bad light.

“Nasaan na yung .45 ko? Ipatokhang natin ‘yan,” he reportedly said at the height of his tirade.

[Where is my .45? Let’s include them in the tokhang.]