MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Monday defended his 10 foreign trips, saying all these have substantial benefits to the government.
“All these, although sponsored, have significance to the office of the PCOO,” Andanar said in a radio interview.
Andanar has particularly defended his China-sponsored trip that resulted PHP70 million worth of donations aimed at improving the government communication and information facilities.
Andanar said some of his foreign trips were personal including in Australia where he visited his relatives.
“Although my travel in Australia was personal, we have talked with Filipino community three times and we’ve met with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) of Australia and it created free emergency broadcasting training for our government media,” he said.
He said the DFAT will come to the Philippines to finalize the scholarship of the Australian government.
“My trip in Paris, this was day trip. If you are in UK, you can have day trip and I was invited by Filipino community because they have many questions about communication. This is part of my job in the PCOO,” Andanar said.
On his trip to United States, Andanar said he was invited to witness the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
“I was also invited by Philippine Asia Society for some queries because the Duterte administration is new. I was with Secretary (Hermogenes) Esperon and we asked permission from President Duterte,” Andanar said.
As PCOO Secretary, Andanar said he also talked to some US media outfits including CBS and NBC.
“Kasi kung matatandaan ninyo, kasagsagan po iyon ng bakbakan sa US media ng mga anti-Digong forces at mga DDS naman. So kailangang po natin back-upan iyong ating mga DDS,” he said.
Andanar said the Rappler report on his foreign trips was selective since it failed to report its positive results.
Aside from improved Radyo ng Bayan facilities, Andanar said other government media entities including Philippine News Agency and PTV-4 have benefited from his foreign trips.
“So lahat po ng iyon ay meron pong katuturan. Kaya siguro dapat laliman pa iyong investigative report,” Andanar said.
“Bakit ayaw pong isulat iyon, eh bakit gagawan po ng mga malisyosong anggulo iyong istorya,” he added. (PNA)