Internet glitch cuts short Palace briefing
Video courtesy of PTV
A problem with internet connectivity on Thursday forced Malacañang to cut short its press briefing.
Communications Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio, who was tasked to read questions from the media, was disconnected several times from the virtual briefing. This forced Palace spokesman Harry Roque to both read the queries and answer them.
"Talagang nagkakaproblema po tayo sa ating internet connection. I appeal to all our internet partners, this is the presidential press briefing," Roque said. "And siguro naman alam ninyo na po na this is important for the nation."
(We are really having a problem with our internet connection. I appeal to all our internet partners, this is the presidential press briefing. And perhaps you know how important this is for the nation.)
Roque later decided the cut the briefing, with Ignacio unable to return on air.
"I am sorry we have lost internet connection, I will have to end the press briefing," he said, asking reporters to instead forward the rest of their questions.
He expressed hopes that the country's third telecommunications provider could widen operations soon as the briefing "cannot proceed unhampered because of dicey internet connection."
Roque said he would invite a representative of the National Telecommunications Commission to the next presser "so that we will at least ensure that the Presidential press briefing, which I think is very important to the nation, can be broadcasted unhampered."
"Sisiguraduhin din ni Presidente na mas magiging mabuti ang internet service ng lahat bago siya bumaba ng kaniyang termino," he said.
(The President will ensure that internet service for everyone will improve before he steps down.)
Duterte last year gave telcos until December 2020 to improve their services or risk "closure" or "expropriation." His terms ends next year.
The NTC last January reported to Duterte that internet service providers have improved their download speed, his spokesman said.
In 2017, Duterte approved a law that would provide free internet access in public places.
The government is now seeking a $21-million refund from the foreign contractor of the free WiFi project over its slow pace, Malacañang said on Monday.