THERE is a need for Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to implement serious changes and improve the quality of people in his office in order for it to be an effective tool in delivering President Rodrigo Duterte’s message to the people, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd said on Thursday.
Pimentel issued the statement in connection with an animated video made by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) apparently intended to convince the public that martial law is a good thing.
The PCOO was forced to take the video down several hours after it circulated on the Internet because of negative reactions from netizens.
The 30-second video depicted a young boy carrying a shield with the words “martial law” written on it and silhouettes of men carrying firearms and the word “extremists” on it.
“Martial law should be the rule of the land. Martial law now,” the video stated.
Pimentel said the PCOO is sending the public a wrong message about martial law and it is a good thing that Andanar’s office already took the video down.
“Martial law is an extreme power of the President to be used only for the most serious of emergency cases, in case of invasion or rebellion only and then additional requirement is when in the judgement of the President public safety requires the declaration,” he explained.
The senator said it is wrong for the government to come up with a campaign that tends to show martial law as “a new normal.”
“Martial law should never be marketed as a new normal that we should be aspiring for. It is only for emergency cases. What kind of life is that if your life is always an emergency,” Pimentel added.
According to him, the PCOO should be more careful next time and not sacrifice the quality of its work just to meet a deadline.
When asked if he sees the video as an attempt on the part of the executive to condition the minds of the public in favor of martial law, Pimentel said it is unlikely because the video was immediately removed, which is an admission of mistake on its part.
“We all commit mistakes but it should not be a big mistake,” he added. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA