PCOO chief Andanar justifies Velasco election coverage | Inquirer News

PCOO chief Andanar justifies Velasco election coverage

/ 01:50 PM October 13, 2020
Andanar: Press freedom should not be abused

Communications Sec. Martin Andanar. INQUIRER file photo / JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday justified the coverage of the election of Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as House Speaker, saying events are covered if it is considered newsworthy.

The government’s communications arm is not siding with any “political force” but decides to cover stories based on its “newsworthiness,” Andanar said during the PCOO’s budget hearing at the Senate.

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“The People’s Television operates like a private corporation, like a government-owned and controlled corporation. We strive to catch up with the private media, we strive to be a professional agency,” he said.

“We cover everybody. We do not side with any political force so I am assuming that the GM (general manager) decided based on the newsworthiness of the story,” he added.

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According to General Manager Katherine “Kat” De Castro of the state-run PTV-4, it was the Radio-Television Malacañang’s (RTVM) that covered Velasco’s election on Monday.

The live coverage was just cross-posted on the Facebook account of PTV-4, she said.

RTVM, an attached agency of the PCOO, is the official broadcast agency of Malacañang responsible for television coverage and documentation, and news and public affairs syndication of all the activities of the President, either live or delayed telecast, by national or local, government or private collaborating networks.

To ensure fairness, De Castro told senators that PTV-4 assigned reporters to both the Velasco election and the simultaneous press conference held by outgoing Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano.

“To make sure that we appeared fair, we also cross-posted the press con of Speaker Cayetano,” she added.

“It’s always balanced, we strive to be fair, we don’t do angles, we don’t do twists. We just report events the way they are,” De Castro also said.

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TAGS: House speakership, Martin Andanar, Nation, News, PTV-4
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