Kiko to PCOO: Use funds judiciously
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Monday warned the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) against its information drive in Europe, saying it should use its meager resources “judiciously.”
Pangilinan, the Liberal Party president and campaign manager of the Otso Diretso senatorial slate, questioned the PCOO’s intentions in launching a “press freedom caravan” to make the European media understand the “real nature” of the cyberlibel case of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa.
“Why is the government suddenly interested in clearing its name before the international community on the arrest of Maria Ressa when before it has ignored criticisms on extrajudicial killings as a result of the drug war?” the incumbent lawmaker asked in a statement.
The opposition senator even went on to suggest that PCOO Sec. Martin Andanar and his people might “just want a whiff of winter” in Europe.
“Could it be that Secretary Andanar and the PCOO people just want a whiff of winter; thus, the sudden urge to go into this information caravan? How much is the PCOO spending for this trip in taxpayers’ money?” Pangilinan further asked, adding that it could be more “worthwhile and beneficial” to help the Department of Health DOH in its vaccination information drive to help curb the measles outbreak.
“Let’s use our meager resources judiciously. Our Otso Diretso senatorial candidates — Gary Alejano, Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Pilo Hilbay, Romy Macalintal, Mar Roxas, and Erin Tañada — will ensure that the people’s money will be spent on people’s needs, not on the whims of those in power,” he added.
Andanar said the PCOO officials-led caravan, which is now in Bosnia and heading to Belgium and Switzerland, would brief European media on the state of press freedom in the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte. /ee
Ressa arrest sparks int’l outrage
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