Private media not allowed at FOI portal, manual launch

Pia Ranada
Private media not allowed at FOI portal, manual launch
Malacañang prohibits private media from covering an event meant to signify the Duterte administration's commitment to the free flow of information

Talk about freedom of information.

Private media were not allowed by Malacañang to cover an event meant to signify the Duterte administration’s commitment to transparency and free flow of information.

The event, the launch of the Freedom of Information (FOI) online portal and presentation of FOI manuals, took place at 3 pm on Friday, November 25, the day President Rodrigo Duterte’s FOI executive order takes effect.

The rule barring private journalists from attending the event came as a surprise to Palace reporters since the day before, Communications Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan verbally invited them during a press conference.

But before the launch began, only government media, like Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) and PTV were allowed inside the venue, Heroes Hall in Malacañang.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar admitted to reporters after the event that even he was surprised that there were no private media in the room.

He found out later from his staff that Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea had given instructions for only government media to be present.

Andanar emphasized that there was “no malice” in Medialdea’s instructions.

Communications Assistant Secretary Mia Reyes, herself a former reporter, told Rappler that the invitation extended to private media was likely a case of “miscommunication.” – 


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Pia Ranada

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