Cab secs can still speak for Duterte, but with Palace go signal – Andanar
MANILA, Philippines – Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Cabinet secretaries may further clarify the statements of President Rodrigo Duterte, but not without the go signal from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
“Kung ano galing sa PCO, this is official communication of the Palace. Kung ano ang labas dun na walang approval ng inyong lingkod ng inyong PCO office ay di po ‘yun ang official line ng Pangulo,” Andanar told radio station dzRB on Sunday, September 18.
(What comes from the PCO is the official communication from the Palace. If something comes out without my approval from the PCO, then that's not the official line from the President.)
“Puwede naman magtanong [sa kanila]. It’s a free country. Puwede kayo magtanong [kung] anong gusto niyong itanong sa mga kasamahan natin sa Gabinete. Ang question there [is] if it’s the line of the Presidential Communication Office,” he added.
(You can still ask them. It's a free country. You can ask whatever you want from our Cabinet secretaries. The question there is if it's the line of the Presidential Communications Office.)
Andanar earlier said that it is only Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella who can speak on behalf of Duterte.
According to Andanar, it is only when Abella is not present or when the information to be discussed is outside his knowledge or expertise will the PCO assign a Cabinet official to be the “spokesperson for the day.”
“If we tell you Sec X or Sec Y is [the] official spokesperson for the day for [a] certain issue – for example ‘yung pagpapakawala kay Sekkingstad, si Sec Jess Dureza po [ang] official spokesperson (the release of Sekkingstad, Secretary Jess Dureza was the official spokesperson) – that’s the time the media can say the official spokesperson of Malacañang for this matter is Sec Jess Dureza,” Andanar explained.
He was referring to the release of Abu Sayyaf Group hostage Kjartan Sekkingstad on Saturday, September 17.
The Duterte administration has streamlined its communication strategy after a series of conflicting messages from Palace officials drew heavy criticism in recent weeks.
These include the communication breakdown on Duterte’s declaration of a state of lawless violence after the deadly Davao City blast, the premature announcement of the seating plan at the ASEAN Summit, and the Official Gazette’s controversial Facebook post commemorating the 99th birth anniversary of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Andanar has since acknowledged the PCO’s lapses and vowed they “will never happen again.” – Rappler.com