Objections to ‘Wow China’ part of Filipinos’ freedom of expression – Roque
MANILA, Philippines — Criticisms against government-run Radyo Pilipinas for airing a program promoting Chinese culture and history are part of Filipinos’ freedom of expression, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“That’s part of the free marketplace of ideas, hayaan na po nating bumuo ng sariling opinyon ang ating mga kababayan diyan sa inereng advertisement na ‘yan o programa,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(That’s part of the free marketplace of ideas. We will let our countrymen form their own opinion about this advertisement or program.)
The Palace official likewise directed the issue to Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, who as head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) supervises Radyo Pilipinas through its attached agency Bureau of Broadcast Services.
PCOO came under fire due to “Wow China”, a collaboration of the Philippines Broadcasting Service (PBS) and China Radio International.
Netizens slammed Radyo Pilipinas for enabling Chinese propaganda with some even highlighting the irony that government media is promoting the program after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a cease and desist order against ABS-CBN, the country’s’ largest television network.
Andanar was asked for his comment on the issue but he instead referred the matter to PBS Director Rizal Giovanni “Bong” Aportadera, Jr., whom the PCOO chief said will address it by issuing a statement later Tuesday.
After the program drew widespread condemnation online, Senator Risa Hontiveros called for its immediate cancellation, saying that it was “very hypocritical how the government is critical of alleged foreign ownership of other Filipino-owned media entities but is aiding and abetting this clear foreign encroachment in our own.”
“We have let Chinese propaganda reach our shores. Inaangkin na nga nila ang (They are claiming ownership of the) West Philippine Sea, pati ba naman ang radyo natin sa kanila na rin (so even our radio belongs to them now as well) ?” the opposition senator said.
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