PNA employees behind viral blunders resign: Andanar

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2017 03:52 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2017 04:20 PM

Philippine News Agency employees involved in a series of blunders in the state-owned news organization have resigned, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Friday.

Speaking to radio DZMM, Andanar said government employees involved in the release of the Xinhua story and the Vietnamese photo incident on the PNA website have quit their posts. 

Last May, the state-run news agency apologized for posting a photo of state troops in Vietnam for its story "Urban warfare a challenge for soldiers in Marawi."

In the same month, the PNA also erroneously reported that 95 member states of the United Nations supposedly said they did not observe extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.

Last August, the PNA was criticized for posting an editorial by China's Xinhua News Agency that called the arbitral ruling on the South China Sea an "ill-founded award."

Another PNA blunder went viral last month after the logo of DOLE Food Co. was used in a government press release on pay rules of the Department of Labor and Employment for the 2018 holidays. 

"'Yung nag-upload ng DOLE photo, sabi niya it was his first offense so kung puwede ay 1 year suspension lamang pero depende na yan sa legal department at sa civil service kung ano ibibigay sa kanya na parusa," Andanar said.

Andanar said the Presidential Communications Operations Office will request for funds to hold "grassroots" seminars about how to combat fake news.

On Friday Senator Antonio Trillanes IV filed libel, graft, and ethics charges against Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson for alleging that he kept millions of pesos in ill-gotten wealth in several bank accounts.

Trillanes flew to Singapore this week to prove that the said bank numbers were non-existent.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who also accused Trillanes of owning offshore bank accounts, said he just "invented" the account number to "catch" the lawmaker.