PNA in hot water for pro-China post
Malacañang has ordered the Philippine News Agency (PNA) to explain why it posted online an article critical of the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling that voided China’s claims over the West Philippine Sea.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he had sent a memo to the PNA requiring the agency to explain why it ran an opinion piece from Xinhua News Agency, China’s official press agency, that described the ruling as “ill-founded.”
“We have already sent a memo to PNA [requiring it] to explain in writing why [it] should not be held liable for any administrative charges,” Andanar said in a statement.
“We will take appropriate action against liable PNA officials and/or staff, if they are found to commit negligence in carrying out their duties and responsibilities,” he added.
PNA posted the article, titled “Time to turn a new leaf on South China Sea issue,” on its website on Sunday.
“More than one year after an ill-founded award at a South China Sea arbitration unilaterally delivered by an ad hoc tribunal in The Hague, the situation in the South China Sea has stabilized and improved thanks to the wisdom and sincerity of China and the parties concerned,” the article said.
The Philippines filed the case in The Hague, challenging China’s claim to about 90 percent of the South China Sea.
In its ruling on July 12 last year, the court invalidated China’s sweeping claims over the waterway, through which about $5 trillion in seaborne trade passes every year.
The PNA’s posting of the Xinhua story drew protests from Filipinos online.
Andanar said the article was reposted from Xinhua’s website, Xinhuanet.com, with “which PNA maintains a partnership.”
“Being the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China, it is understandable that most commentaries of Xinhua News Agency reflect China’s position on certain issues,” Andanar said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.