Interview

Interview with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar by Atty. Jess Falcis and Atty. Bruce Rivera (Boljak-DWFM)

Q:  Very exact person, ang boses ng Boljak, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar. Good morning, sir.

SEC. ANDANAR:  Hello, good morning Atty.  Bruce and Atty. Jess, I hope you had a fine Valentines yesterday.

Q:  Ako sir, tulog.

Q:  Long time no hear, sir. Ang tagal na naming hindi kayo Nakausap.

Q:  Na-busy si sir eh. Sir, ang question ko ngayon, of course alam natin na being a person of media, marami po ang inyong kasamahan are out, parang bungkag lampinig (stir up a yellow jacket’s nest), parang nagkaroon, if you throw something at a beehive parang naglalabasan ang lahat ng bubuyog na mag-sting ganoon. Is it an attack or is it warranted iyong sa tingin ko, sir over reaction nung ibang tao? Pangalanan natin GMA News Network, every five minutes may balita sila tungkol diyan sa press freedom and it’s attack.

Q:  CNN, Time Magazine.

Q:  What is your comment about that?

SEC. ANDANAR:  Number one, press freedom is not under attack, press freedom is alive and kicking and very well in our country: Number one, itong kaso ni Miss Ressa ay kaso ito between her, Rappler and Wilfredo Keng, a private individual, a private businessman na lumalabas ay nasaktan doon sa sinulat ng Rappler noong 2012 at ni-republished online on 2014 – iyon. Karapatan ito ni Mr. Keng na pumunta sa husgado at kasuhan iyong sa palagay niya iyong taong nakasakit sa kaniya. The same way na karapatan din ni Miss Ressa na ipagtanggol ang kaniyang sarili by getting her own lawyer and going to the same court.

Q:  Sir, ang next question ko of course…

SEC. ANDANAR: It’s the same way that, kami kasi sa PCOO bilang Chairman din ng Presidential Task Force  on Media Security ay nakakatanggap ng mga ganitong reklamo, napakadaming mga libel cases  ang  kinakaso sa mga broadcaster, manunulat taun-taon.

Q:  Pati bloggers.

SEC. ANDANAR:  And this is what we actually also try to follow dito sa Presidential Task Force on Media Security. Now, (communication problem) 2016 ine-announce na ni Presidente iyong aking pangalan na ia-appoint niya ako, kinasuhan pa ako ng libel. I have to go to Pagsanjan, Laguna, kami ni Maricel Halili. Oo kasama kami, may kasama pa akong isa diyan na kinasuhan din ng libel. It doesn’t mean of whether –the law does not actually exempt or discriminate, whether you are rich or poor, whether you are a broadcaster from province and Manila pare-parehas lang po, pantay-pantay lang po iyan.

Q:  Sir, ano ang mako-comment ninyo doon sa number one of course, five hours after the arrest ni Ressa, nasa New York Times na ang balita na parang ang balita pa na kinukulong siya because she is a critic of the President. Number two, iyong sinasabi ngayong ng US Embassy in the Philippines na parang ‘you should follow the laws’, parang tinuturuan pa tayo na ano, parang sinasabi na hindi pina-follow iyong—

Q:  US Embassy.

Q:  In the Philippines, yes. Number 3, sinasabi ni Madeleine Albright na, iyon parang may problema sa press freedom. Number 4, iyong sinasabi nung mga international—of course, I’m so angry about this, iyong sinasabi ng international Journalist Organization na dapat daw tanggalin iyong parang ‘stop the filing of the case against Ressa’. What is your comment on that being a newscaster and being part of government?

SEC. ANDANAR:  Number one, iyong sa New York Times., I completely understand why they wrote it right away. You know, Miss Ressa is a very well connected journalist; she has friends all over the world. In fact, I have already attended one of her seminars, where she was one of the speakers in Singapore. Connected talaga si Miss Ressa globally, especially alam mo na nag-CNN iyan.

Q:  CNN and she was very good in Jemaah Islamiyah case, iyong expose’ niya doon.

SEC. ANDANAR:  Saka lalo na sa mga liberal media, very well-connected with the same advocacy.

Q:  And well-respected.

SEC. ANDANAR:  I’m not surprised by that, na ipinagtatanggol siya ng mga kabaro natin na parehas ng pag-iisip niya, okay – meaning ideologically, parehas silang iniisip. Number two, iyong sa US Embassy, sa palagay ko naman, I need to see the comment of the US Embassy at kung sino iyong nag-comment doon sa US Embassy, kasi usually naman kapag ganyan ay number one, apolitical iyong mga embahada natin.

Q:  Dapat.

SEC. ANDANAR:  Sa Pilipinas at hindi dapat nagme-meddle sa mga—

Q:  Interference.

SEC. ANDANAR:  Nagi-interfere sa ating mga issue dito sa ating bansa, lalung-lalo pag political. But, I think siguro, if they really wrote it, maybe they were commenting on the judicial process.  Kasi wala naman talagang kinalaman  ang administrasyon dito: number one, si Wilfredo Keng is a private individual  at hindi kilala ni Presidente itong si Wilfredo Keng.  Number three iyong Madeleine Albright, alam naman natin na si Madeleine Albright, meron siyang grupo eh, iyong non-profit organization niya na very liberal iyong thinking. Correct me if I’m mistaken, Madelaine Albright was…

Q:  Sec. Martin. I think iyong international community, Atty. Jess po magtatanong naman, hindi naman po sila nanggagaling sa perspective na may connect si President Duterte saka si Wilfredo Keng. I think ang problema po nila ay iyong mga legally innovative application ng DOJ, ng government ha, so DOJ po iyong problema nila, the government, pakiramdam po nila, President Duterte acting through the DOJ, ang interpretation ng law is very oppressive. For  example, sir  hindi ko alam kung anong stand  niyo sa cyber libel, pero parang napaka-broad tuloy nung interpretation ng DOJ ngayon na 12 years ang prescriptive period, tapos 2014 porke’t nag-update,  2017 nag-file, walang problema kasi hindi daw one year iyong  prescription period.

Q:  Di ba kasalanan ng Congress iyan, kasi sila iyong gumawa nung batas?

Q:  Wala iyon sa law clearly no. Continuous publication iyong po iyong tweak, so parang nare-relate po nila nung panahon ni Trillanes iyong amnesty revocation which was also very legally innovative and I am just using a euphemism here, sir. Baka doon sila nanggagaling kaya kino-connect sa admin?

SEC. ANDANAR:  Well, siguro doon sa mga gumawa ng batas, I’m not sure if they took into consideration that change in technology. Pero definitely, iyong libel  laws naman  ay naka-base doon sa giyera na iyong printing one time lang, siguro hindi nila na-take into consideration  dahil  once you  post  on line, you can repost it and repost it. So siguro ang tingin nila, ang interpretation, I mean there’s so many interpretation both of you are lawyers, ang interpretation nila when you repost a post or even updated online, it’s a republication.

Q:  -Thank you po, salamat po, sir. Good luck and of course more power to you. Alam namin iyong hirap ng trabaho, so thank you po sir, Salamat po sa time.

SEC. ANDANAR:  Mabuhay kayong dalawa, thank you.

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Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)

 

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