Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar had involved himself in the state-run newswire Philippine News Agency (PNA) by creating and heading its editorial board.
“The Board will act as the gatekeeper. All stories must pass under its scrutiny,” Andanar said in a statement.
PNA filled the news recently on its two consecutive blunders which pushed the secretary to conduct an investigation.
First was on August 6 after publishing a commentary from Xinhua News Agency calling the historic ruling of the Hague an ‘ill-founded award’.
The second was on August 11 when an article about Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) was posted attaching the logo of Dole – a canned-pineapple manufacturer – instead of the department’s logo.
In an interview with DZMM on August 14, Andanar said that he was in the middle of the investigation of the Xinhua-commentary-case when the DOLE/Dole case happened.
In a meeting with PNA and its staff, Andanar emphasized that as a government-run agency, it is expected to uphold and perform the ‘highest standards of professionalism,’ and that the people expect nothing less than proficiency.
Spearheaded by Andanar, the editorial board will include Undersecretary Jose Joel Sy Egco, who is also the Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Violence Against Media Workers, PCOO Assistant Secretary Lawrence Garcia, journalist and PCOO consultant Alberta Gamboa, PNA chief Virginia Arcilla-Agtay, and PNA Acting Executive Editor Louie Morente.
In the same interview with DZMM, Andanar mentioned that the consecutive mistakes are not acceptable. “Unahin po natin iyong pag-upload nila ng picture ng Vietnam War, tapos pangalawa iyong inaccurate na report po tungkol kay Assistant Secretary Densing, tapos pangatlo, iyong sa Xinhua, pang-apat itong sa Dole Philippines (First is the uploading of the Vietnam War picture, second is the inaccurate report on Assistant Secretary Densing, third is with Xinhua, and fourth is with the Dole Philippines),” he said.
Furthermore, Andanar stressed that PCOO will do ‘whatever is necessary’ for the improvement of the PNA services.