Andanar limits PCOO social media posts after sharing of false info on ABS-CBN

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2020 03:38 PM | Updated as of May 11 2020 07:16 PM

MANILA (2ND UPDATE)-- Communications Secretary Martin Andanar limited Monday the sharing of posts on official social media pages of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) after false information on the ABS-CBN franchise was spread over the weekend.

In a department order signed Monday, Andanar said sharing of posts from other pages would "strictly be limited" to the live streaming of news events and briefings of select government officials.

These include events and briefings of President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, the inter-agency task force on COVID-19, and news and public affairs programs of state-run media outlets.

Andanar said the move is meant to "ensure content consistency."

Asked what prompted the new directive, Andanar told ABS-CBN News, "we need to limit access [to the] account of entire PCOO and attached agencies."

The order comes after social media accounts of the PCOO, and the Philippine Information Agency shared posts of the government’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict containing false information about ABS-CBN and its franchise.

The shared posts accused ABS-CBN of franchise violations and blamed the network for the expiration of its broadcast permit.

Andanar, a former journalist, disowned the posts on Saturday, saying it “was done without the usual vetting process" of the PCOO.

“That being said, the posted content is not in any way an official statement or an opinion of the PCOO. The issue regarding ABS-CBN Corporation's network franchise remains within the purview of Congress," he said.


The presidential communications chief said the PCOO finds it "unnecessary" to investigate the sharing of false information about the country's biggest network since it has already identified the individual responsible for the act.

"With the identification of the individual accountable for uploading and sending of the contentious Facebook post, our office deems an investigation into the matter, unnecessary," Andanar said.

The said individual, according to Andanar, will be asked to explain his or her actions, after which "the proper action will be taken by the PCOO."

"We have undertaken the initial step of limiting access to the PCOO’s social media pages and accounts," Andanar said.

"We would like to reassure the public that we will uphold accountability on matters like this in order to minimize such unfortunate instances from happening again in the future," he added.