Why Aquino admin decided not to accredit bloggers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 05 2017 10:36 AM

MANILA - The communications team of former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III considered accrediting bloggers but decided to scrap the idea after identifying certain risks, said a former Palace spokesperson.

Speaking to ANC Thursday, former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said it was his personal preference to accredit bloggers, both supporters and critics of the Aquino administration. The idea, he said, was put into debate with the Malacañang Press Corps.

"What was really impressed upon me was first these people the bloggers do not have editorial standards. If they write something, how sure are you that these are facts, not opinions," he said.

"As a journalist, you're not supposed to write your opinion. You follow a set of standards. You have accountability. Who's going to be accountable if you (blogger) make a mistake?" he added.

The Presidential Communication Operations Office's has already laid out the rules for social media accreditation. Under Department Order 15 or the Interim Social Media Practitioner Accreditation, netizens with at least 5,000 followers may apply for accreditation to cover presidential events.

A pro-Duterte blogger before being appointed to office, Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson handles the application for social media accreditation to cover presidential events.

Asked what he thinks about this move, Lacierda said: "Let's see if to what end. Are the bloggers all pro-Duterte? It's up to them. Are you informing or are you just doing propaganda? That's a big difference... If you wanna be pro-Duterte or pro-government, do it in your own time."

In an interview with ANC Headstart, Trixie Angeles, also a pro-Duterte blogger who eventually became a social media strategist of the PCOO, said nobody has applied for accreditation yet, as of posting.