Media not allowed in Duterte inauguration venue – organizer

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Media will not be allowed to enter Malacañang's Rizal Hall to cover the inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, confirmed event organizers on Monday, June 20.

Organizer Liset Marquez told Rappler that media outlets will only have access to videos and photos of the event from state-run broadcaster Radio TV Malacañang (RTVM).

Incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said only RTVM would have access to Rizal Hall where Duterte will receive around 500 guests.

Media who are able to get accreditation will also be allowed to "monitor" the event at the New Executive Building, also in the Malacañang Palace Compound.

Andanar said the issue of space was the reason for the media's limited access.

"Talagang masikip lang talaga sa loob. Masikip sa loob ng Rizal Hall. Hindi siya ganoon kalaki ang espasyo," Andanar was quoted as saying in an ABS-CBN article. 

(It's just really cramped inside the Rizal Hall. The space is not that big.)

Whether or not reporters will be given an area to do their standuppers is still "under negotiation," he said.

But with RTVM's experience in running a broadcast pool, Andanar assured the media, "I don't think you will have a difficult time."

Media outlets are already relying on RTVM for videos and photos of Duterte's activities during the transition period.

This arrangement began after June 3 when Duterte's staff said that he would no longer be holding press conferences.

The announcement was made a few days after a series of late-night press conferences in which Duterte gave controversial statements on media killings and whistled at a female reporter.

He had also been visibly agitated by a question from a reporter regarding a proposal of international media groups that journalists boycott his press briefings. 

Meanwhile, Duterte seems bent on sticking to a campaign promise to hold a small and "frugal" inauguration.

His camp has also said this was the reason why they decided Duterte's inauguration would be separate from that of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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