TNF - President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's decision to boycott the press throughout his term may be a wise decision, his incoming Communications chief said on Friday.
"I think it was okay. I think it wasn’t a bad idea," incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar told ANC's Headstart.
The Duterte camp earlier said the 71-year old executive would "boycott" the press "until the end" of his term, after a string of controversial comments drew criticism.
Andanar noted that when outgoing President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was elected into office in 2010, he did not have the same fanfare as Duterte.
He also highlighted that Aquino's campaign was handled by the Liberal Party, while Duterte's was, for the most part, done with the help of volunteers.

"[Duterte] wanted to thank everyone. That’s why all roads lead to Davao because everybody wanted to, he wanted to say thank you to as many people as possible," he said.
n one of Duterte's press conferences, his comment on slain journalists being targets for murder because they were corrupt was received negatively by several organizations and even captured the attention of the United Nations.
But Andanar maintained, Duterte did not endorse media killings with his statement.
"He clearly said there are the crusaders—sila yung talagang tunay na journalist, tulad mo, tunay na journalist—at meron din naman yung mga iba, where we don’t want to belittle them, talagang extortionist. Klaro, yun lang naman yun e," he said.
Andanar, a veteran broadcast journalist himself, said he has recommended to Duterte the establishment of a Presidential Task Force on Media Killings to assist the families of slain journalists and supervise the investigation for their murder.
"My aim is to assist the media men, the victims, the families, and also when there’s a media killing, to be there right away to assist and find out," Andanar said.
A quick investigation would also prove or disprove if the victim is an extortionist, he added.
Andanar said he has already spoken with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and is just awaiting a final answer.
"I will propose to the president, sana ma-approve. I’ve talked to the executive secretary, sabi okay naman sila, so we just have to sit down," he said.
Meanwhile, part of the upgrade Andanar is eyeing for government-run media stations is a national conversation in town hall format to engage different sectors of the society like what Singapore had.
"When Singapore had a problem with their MRT there back in early 2000, they had a national conversation. Nagba-brownout dun, and they just wanted to know the problems straight from the sectors," he said.
"That’s what I want to do. I want to propose it to the president so that we will be as transparent as we can; as involved also," he added.
Andanar said this may be followed by a media summit.

Source: ABS-CBN

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