Catching up with Secretary Andanar



Before he became head of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Secretary Martin Andanar was first a TV broadcaster and executive.

As he said when he met with members of the entertainment press on Wednesday, he is now on the opposite side of the fence. His task is to take care of the media office under President Rodrigo Duterte together with his team who works a nine-to-five shift. His day, however, goes on 24/7 with an inner core of six individuals who don’t sleep until they all get the job done.

“We have to go into every detail [of the President’s affairs for the media],” he explained.

Unable to escape “showbiz-related questions,” Andanar was asked of his opinion regarding sexy singer Mocha, a staunch supporter of the President’s who many believe is doing more harm than good for the image of the chief executive. Mocha has been bombarded with criticism because of her pro-Duterte posts on her blog.

“All I can say is that my responsibility lies in the Office of the President. When it comes to social media, we do not touch on that. Just like you, the entertainment media, we don’t meddle with you. Columnists are entitled to their own opinion. When it comes to Mocha, she writes a blog and she is responsible for her own opinion,” he said.

“All communications that come from PCO, based on the memorandum circular that came from the office of the Press Secretary, are the only ones deemed official,” he added.

What about Robin Padilla’s request to President Duterte to hold off on revealing the drug list involving celebrities? What is Malacañang’s take on the matter?

“There is no reaction from my office. All of the supporters of the President have the opportunity to say their piece, being supporters. But all I can say is that the President said that there will be no special treatment for anyone involved in illegal drugs,” he replied.

When it comes to highly sensitive matters like the issue on drugs, Andanar averred, “I don’t want to step ahead of the President. We let the President state his policies about important matters, like the fight against drugs. As for me, I’m in favor of what the President is doing. I fully support him.”

How about the people who seem bent on seeing the President fail? “They will not succeed. Our President has a trust rating of 91-percent. He has many supporters.”

What is Malacañang’s reaction to the statement of Senator Leila de Lima that is it not her but the President who is causing all these problems faced by the country?

“Senator De Lima is entitled to her own opinion.”

Finally asked about the plans of the President’s plans for the film industry if any, Secretary Andanar said since Mr. Duterte has designated Liza Diño to head the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), it is now in her hands to recommend the issues that warrant Malacañang’s attention.

The secretary, however, clarified that the President and the FDCP head have yet to sit down to discuss Diño’s ideas in improving the film and entertainment industry as a whole.


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