Andanar slams MMDA's Garcia for 'Tokhang' joke vs journalists

REMINDER. PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar reminds government officials of the existence of a Presidential TaskForce on Media Security. Malacau00f1ang file photo

REMINDER. PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar reminds government officials of the existence of a Presidential TaskForce on Media Security.

Malacau00f1ang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Communication Secretary Martin Andanar hit Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Assistant General Manager Jojo Garcia for joking that journalists who write negatively about the government should be targets of Oplan Tokhang.

"The PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office), as co-chairman of the PTFoMS, will not tolerate such irresponsible and threatening remarks," said Andanar on Friday, December 8.

PTFoMS stands for Presidential Task Force on Media Security.

Its head, Undersecretary Joel Egco, had previously criticized Garcia for the "horrible joke."

Andanar said that officials like Garcia should be aware of the government's resolve to protect journalists, even those who write critically of the administration.

"Government officials should be aware that there is an AO1 (Administrative Order No 1)...that protects media men and women," said Andanar.

The administrative order creating the task force was signed by Duterte in October 2016.

But statements against the media, whether threatening their life or their credibility, have been made by officials of the Duterte government, including the President himself. (READ: Duterte on killings: Corrupt journalists asked for it)

Despite this, Duterte has also asked his ardent supporters to stop threatening media.

His own spokesman, Secretary Harry Roque, has threatened to throw hollow blocks at those critical of Duterte but later retracted, explaining the value of critical journalism. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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