Duterte communications chief orders probe into media ID card fiasco


A sample of the controversial Malacanang Press ID that was released in early March to reporters covering President Rodrigo Duterte CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

COMMUNICATIONS Secretary Martin Andanar has ordered an investigation on the alleged breach of protocol regarding the new identification cards (IDs) given to members of the Malacanang Press Corps (MPC).

In a text message to reporters, Andanar said that his staff did not show the backflip of the ID to him and that the final design was not returned to him for final quality check.

Andanar also said that the staff used an electronic signature (e-signature) and the wrong one at that without his permission.

The ID cards were given to members of the MPC in early March by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

The guidelines on the back of the ID read:

“This card to be worn during presidential coverage, but subject to specific accreditation/security requirements. It should be worn all times in entering Malacanang and while inside the Palace grounds.

“Unauthorized use of this card will result in confiscation. It is non-transferable and void if altered this card remains property of Presidential Communications Office.

“Upon expiration or when resigns from his or her agency, this card should be returning without delay to the International Press Center, G/F National Press Club, Magallanes Drive Intramuros, Manila.”

The ID fiasco happened days after the News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Division (NIB-DPD) of the PCOO released to members of the MPC an official transcript of a radio interview of “President Rodrigo Duterte” who expressed his support for the senatorial bid of his Special Assistant Christopher “Bong” Go.

It turned out that “Duterte” was Jun Alegre, a radio anchor from Bicol and an impersonator of the President.

Two hours after the release of the transcript, the NIB-DPD sent an erratum. RALPH EDWIN U. VILLANUEVA



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