Abella, Andanar, the only talking heads of Pres. Rody

Abella, Andanar, the only talking heads of Pres. Rody
Photo: Rappler
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued on Wednesday a memorandum limiting the officials who can speak for President Rodrigo Duterte to the media.

The memorandum, dated September 20, 2016, was addressed to "All members of the Cabinet and Heads of Agencies."

"Please be advised that official statements of the President on significant national and international issues shall be coursed through and delivered only by the Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto C. Abella or in his absence Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar," the memo said.

The memorandum came after "instructions of the President and in accordance with the consensus reached during previous Cabinet Meetings,"  and the "PCOO budget hearing in the Senate during which Senator Franklin Drilon suggested that Andanar ask Medialdea for a memorandumto ensure only official spokesmen speak for Duterte.

The memo makes PCOO the office authorized to respond to media relating to the President's statements, policies, official activities, and accomplishments.

Thus, ordering all other Cabinet members, agency heads, and heads of government-owned or controlled corporations are ordered not to give statements to the media "except on matters directly concerning their office or unless clearance has been secured from the PCOO."

Prior to the memo, Cabinet members apart from Abella and Andanar would speak to media about Duterte's statements. These include Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza, which made confusion and misinformation on some issues. AJRSP