Interview

Interview with Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar during the Launching and Unveiling Ceremony of the Presidential Broadcast Staff – Radio Television Malacañang’s (PBS-RTVM) New Agency Logo, Ensuing with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Agency’s Newly Renovated Building, in a Simple Gathering at the RTVM Building in Malacañang, City of Manila on May 24, 2019.

Event Launching and Unveiling Ceremony of the Presidential Broadcast Staff - Radio Television Malacañang’s (PBS-RTVM) New Agency Logo, Ensuing with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the Agency’s Newly Renovated Building
Location RTVM Building, Malacañang, City of Manila

Q: Sir, magkano po iyong pondong nailaan for the renovation?

SEC. ANDANAR: Ang ginastos dito was P11 million para sa buong renovation ng building. At makikita ninyo iyong changes na napakalaking pagbabago sa halagang 11 million.

Q: Do you consider this as your legacy, sir, as the Communications Secretary?

SEC. ANDANAR: This is the legacy of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and there are many more projects to come. In fact, we will invite you also to the unveiling of the Mindanao Media Hub, halos 95% tapos na iyon. And the President also has a legacy project which will be called, The Government Strategic Communications Training Facility. It will be the first of its kind to train our information officers from the national, all the way to the local level. And it will have a state-of-the-art building and also a dormitory for our information officers to stay, to sleep-over when … once they have their training for information dissemination.

And we will also have a Visayas Media Hub which will be located in Cebu once the Media Hub in Davao is unveiled by, hopefully, by this July.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sir speaking of legacy, will this be one of your last projects under PCOO because there has been information that you will be transferring from PCOO to the Office of Political Adviser to the President? How true is that?

SEC. ANDANAR: Talaga naman [laughs]. Well this is a very good project of the President. This is our own Build, Build, Build here at the PCOO. And there are more projects to come as I mentioned earlier – building our television network in Mindanao or Mindanao Media Hub, Cebu, Visayas Media Hub and also fixing some of our facilities here at the Luzon Media Hub at the Visayas Avenue. And this beautiful place that you see right now is one of the legacies of the President.

Is it my last project? I don’t know. The President has not talked to me about moving to another department or any agency. We all work at the pleasure of the President.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: But is that a consideration? Are you considering the—

SEC. ANDANAR: It’s difficult to consider something that has not been offered to you.

Q: [OFF MIC]

SEC. ANDANAR: I work at the pleasure of the President, so whatever—and I’m a good soldier, what the President … if the President assigns me to a specific agency or department, then maybe the President sees a little bit of capability or capacity on my part to serve on a particular agency outside the PCOO. But for now, the President has not talked to me about it, even moving to a new department. So as I said yesterday, work as usual.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Pero, Sec., mayroon din kasing mga initial info ‘di ba about doon sa draft na from PCOO to Office of the Press Secretary. How is that?

SEC. ANDANAR: Actually, I was the one who initiated the move from the PCOO to revert it to the Office of the Press Secretary for several reasons. And I am just so glad that last year, nabuhay iyong usapan na iyan, and we re-submitted that executive order draft to revert it to the Office of the Press Secretary, and we are still awaiting for the President’s signature.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Sec., last one na lang. Kasi aside doon sa information na lumabas kahapon that you will be transferring as adviser doon sa Political Affairs, lumalabas din iyong pangalan ni Erwin Tulfo na papasok daw for PCOO.

SEC. ANDANAR: You know, I’ve worked with Erwin for longest time since 2013 and prior to 2013. I was a beat reporter and we scoured the Western Police District, or Manila Police District now, for stories way back then; and we’ve been good friends. And I see the capacity of Erwin to run an office like the Presidential Communications Operations Office, I think he is qualified to be the next press secretary if you ask me.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: So did you actually recommend him?

SEC. ANDANAR: Wala, you know, I talk to Erwin as a friend. We don’t really talk about this position or anything. I talk to him as a kumpare.

Q: So, sir, would you confirm there was an offer to Tulfo?

SEC. ANDANAR: Do I confirm? No, as I said, the President has not talked to me about it, so wala.

Q: Sir, what do you think—

SEC. ANDANAR: Maybe someone else offered it but hindi ko narinig.

Q: Sir, why do you think Mr. Tulfo is qualified to be PCOO Secretary?

SEC. ANDANAR: Well, he’s been in the media for ages: He started in the print and then he went to radio, tapos nag-TV siya, nag-anchor siya. And it seems that wherever he goes, from ABS-CBN to TV5 and now to government, he has the trust of millions of Filipinos. And basically, he has a huge following. And by that alone, talagang mabigat na iyong kaniyang credibility.

Q: Sir, iyong press briefing namin, sir, if ever, dalawa na po?

SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko masasagot iyan. Hindi ko masasagot iyan kasi wala pang in-announce si Presidente. At, of course, kung mayroon mang mga pagbabagong mangyayari, depende na iyan sa bagong kalihim kung ano iyong istilo niya kasi iba-iba naman ang style. Of course, iyong sa akin naman ay I stay in the background, I manage the facilities, and just allow Secretary Sal Panelo to do all the explaining and all the messaging for the President. And that has been the order of the President that only Secretary Sal Panelo can talk on behalf of the President.

Q: Sir, ano iyong magiging set-up kapag okay na iyong Office of the Press Secretary? Ibig sabihin kung press secretary papasok si Erwin Tulfo, siya na iyong magiging tagapagsalita instead of Secretary Panelo?

SEC. ANDANAR: Hindi ko masasagot kasi hindi pa naman naa-approve iyong executive order na to revert the PCOO to the Office of the Press Secretary. So hindi ko masasagot iyong tanong na iyan. At pangalawa, it will all depend also on the President kung ano iyong gusto niyang mangyaring set-up at kung ano rin iyong mapag-uusapan ng bagong press secretary at ni Secretary Sal Panelo. But as it is right now, everything is pretty good, pretty comfortable, and I think everything works.

Q: Sir, aside from Erwin Tulfo, mayroon pa bang ibang kinu-consider na personality or—

SEC. ANDANAR: I don’t even know if Erwin is being considered – ang galing mong magtanong. As I said, hindi namin napag-uusapan ang PCOO position; hindi pa ako kinakausap ni Presidente about it. And, you know, the story is … will have to be confirmed by the President himself.

Thank you.

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

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