THE Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has a simple explanation on allegations that government resources are being used to cover President Rodrigo Duterte’s activities.
“It is our job to cover all events the President of the Republic graces with his presence,” PCOO Secretary Lorraine Marie Badoy said in a press statement on Sunday.
Badoy reacted to Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate’s remark that broadcasting the President’s July 6 meeting with officials of the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), was an “unabashed display of impunity using government time and resources for clearly partisan political activity”.
People’s Television Network aired the PDP-Laban meeting on July 7 while other government-operated news outlets and social media accounts covered it.
Badoy emphasized the importance of covering all the President’s events, noting that the PCOO takes pride in Duterte being “the most visible president” in the country’s history.
She noted that broadcasting all Duterte’s events contributed to his high trust and approval ratings.
“It has also made him the most trusted public servant in his administration with unprecedented trust and approval ratings that can only be the envy of leaders all over the world. The Filipino people trust him because they know him. And they know him because the PCOO covers his every move, his every utterance so that we know who he is and what he stands for,” she added.
On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the “political personality” of Duterte, also the PDP-Laban chair, could not be separated from his official duties as the country’s chief executive.
“Well, iiwan ko na po iyang issue na iyan kung ano ang sinasabi ninyong partisan activities. Pero the President has always been chairman of PDP-Laban and there’s no way to separate the political personality of the President from his functions because halal nga po siya ng taong bayan,” Roque said during a media briefing.
During the meeting, members of the PDP-Laban renewed their call for Duterte to run for vice president in 2022.
Duterte said he is “seriously thinking” about it.