Malacanang office vows to improve after Gazette hullabaloo

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 12 2016 04:22 PM

MANILA - Malacanang's Communications Office said it has learned a lesson after the Official Gazette page drew flak for a post remembering former dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

“This is a learning lesson for us and we will improve accordingly based on our efforts to have a streamlined national communications policy,” Assistant Presidential Communications Secretary Ramon Cualoping III told reporters. 

He, however, stressed that the Palace communications team did not mean to revise history.

“I would like to reiterate that there has been no revision of history and there will never be. We got wind of the comments on social media late last night and we adjusted and edited the caption immediately,” he said.

The Gazette wrote Sunday a Facebook post commemorating the birthday of Marcos.

Describing the late strongman's political career, the publication said Marcos declared Martial Law "to suppress a communist insurgency and (secessionism) in Mindanao."

"In 1986, Marcos stepped down from the presidency to avoid bloodshed during the uprising that came to be known as 'People Power,'" Gazette added.

The post drew flak from critics who insisted that Marcos declared Martial Law to extend his term of office. Some people also stressed that the late strongman did not voluntarily step down from power, but was forced out of office by an uprising that involved civil society and state troops.

Cualoping stressed that the Official Gazette had made similar posts commemorating the birth anniversaries of past presidents.

“I’d also like to add that the post yesterday was a simple social media card to commemorate the birthday of the late president Marcos. If you will observe all our posts since we came on board starting July, we also did the same thing for presidents Magsaysay and Osmeña,” he said.

“We also did a social media card for the late Senator Ninoy Aquino on August 21. We will continue to do the same thing for the other presidents, for their birthdays, and special holidays of the Philippines.”

But a Facebook user noted how the Official Gazette’s birthday art cards for Magsaysay and Osmeña carried simple, one-sentence messages.

“I checked your posts for other Philippine presidents whose birthdays fell after June 30. Aba aba aba. One sentence lang. Wala nang historical narrative. But for Marcos, you felt it critically important to tell us all about his political career, his journey as a ‘statesman’. Hiyang hiya naman si Magsaysay sa inyo,” a Facebook user commented.

READ: Malacanang's Gazette under fire for 'pro-Marcos' FB post