MANILAFormer Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher 'Bong' Go and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar have commended MalacaAang reporters for their hard work and dedication in covering President Rodrigo Duterte.
Nagpapasalamat ako sa inyo for covering the President at sa pagbabalita ng totoo. (I would like to thank you for covering the President and for reporting the truth), Go said in his short speech during Wednesday night's Malacanang Press Corps. (MPC) Christmas party.
Go stepped down two months ago to file his certificate of candidacy for senator in the 2019 midterm elections.
He promised to keep his line open to the media just as he did for the last two years and six months as top aide of the President.
You can still ask me question though it's no longer official. Just one of your sources only but reliable one, Go said.
Go, who also served as assistant of Duterte when he was still mayor of Davao City, asked the media for understanding if he still speaks in defense of Duterte.
Trabaho ko ito noon pa. For 23 years at syempre maintindihan nyo naman kung paano maging loyal sa isang tao. Kung loyal ka sa isang taong, you have to protect him hanggang kamatayan (This is my job for last 23 years and of course, I hope you'll understand how to be loyal to somebody. If you're loyal to someone, you have to protect him until death). That's my promise to my boss, President Duterte, he explained.
For his part, Andanar thanked the MPC for keeping the press freedom alive in the country.
I would also like to thank you for your dedication to your work, dedication to your calling. I know it's not easy to cover the President. You have to be awake even early in the morning. We know that the schedule of the President is different but you're here to show to the whole industry that you are professional reporters, Andanar said.
Andanar said members of the international media have expressed their admiration for the vibrant press freedom in the Philippines.
Parati nila sinasabi (They always say), 'we admire your country because it is the most free country for the press in entire southeast Asia, Andanar said.
Andanar promised that the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will continue to improve the working place of Palace reporters.
We have so many plans for PCOO. We have many achievements: improved transmitter, radio, television, online presence, website and improvement of press briefing room which at least is top of the line, he said.
The PCOO chief said one of his next projects is the refurbishment of the MPC working place.
It should be fixed before the second quarter of next year. Before we revert to OPS (Office of the Press Secretary), things should already be in place, Andanar said.
Aside from Go and Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, former spokesman Harry Roque and former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino as well as other PCOO officials including Undersecretaries Lorraine Badoy and Rocky Ignacio showed up in the MPC's Christmas party. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency