In an article written by Pia Ranada on Rappler, she said that “President Rodrigo Duterte has fired another official for making fewer foreign trips than Communications Secretary Martin Andanar. Does Duterte’s rule on limiting travels abroad apply to him?”
The official Ranada referred to was Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) chairman Terry Ridon who was fired by Duterte making 8 trips in 13 months.
Why would Pia Ranada write this article?
I think there were two reasons why she wrote it.
First, to cast doubt on the President’s sincerity in cleaning up the government of inept and corrupt officials. Second, to give the Yellowtards an issue they can rally around and make noise.
Pia’s article is malicious because she attempts to make it appear that Sec. Martin Andanar’s travels are unnecessary and that the government paid for all the trips.
Here are some facts about Rappler’s alleged 10 trips:
- 2 trips to Australia was paid by Andanar
- 4 of the trips were sponsored by China and the UK.
- China sponsored a trip to Suzhou for ASEAN-China information event.
- Making All Voice Count sponsored the UK trip for an open government event at Brighton University.
- The UAE trip was a stopover trip from the same UK sponsored trip.
- At the UAE, Andanar met with distressed Filipinos at the consulate.
- Paris was also part of the UK sponsored travel and it was only a day trip to meet with the Filipino community who asked for Andanar’s presence to clarify issues about “responding” to the negative press in Europe.
Ranada’s article fails to mention that Andanar had a very successful Facetime with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office heads of Communications, who gave important insights of the UK’s Great Campaign.
Andanar’s USA Trip
President Duterte personally gave Andanar and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon the go signal to attend the President Donald Trump’s inaugural.
There were other reasons why Andanar went there. He was tasked to talk to…
- The NYC media like CBS, NBC, New Yorker
- The Filipino community and the Filipino media on the east coast.
- The Filipino media on the west coast.
- The LA Filipino community to get the pulse of our kababayans.
Note that the US was experiencing very tumultuous media coverage as far as US Media was concerned.
The Paris Trip
The Paris 2016 Open Government Event. Please note that the FOI in the Philippines was just in its infancy and since Secretary Martin Andanar was the proponent who initiated Executive Order (EO2) and the Freedom of Information (FOI), it was natural that he, together with Sec. Ben Diokno and Senator Grace Poe were invited.
Malaysia 2016 Trip
The Duterte government was just two months old then, and Secretary Dureza wanted Andanar to work closely with him since the Peace Process with the Bangsamoro was a cornerstone policy of President Duterte.
Sec. Jess Dureza wanted to ensure that there were no stones unturned as far as media coverage was concerned and that is why the presence of Andanar was necessary.
Did Ranada really want to tell a truthful story?
Pia Ranada can call Secretary Andanar anytime to clarify issues, but instead, she opted to write a misleading article. So what are the motivations?
For me the answer is clear to me, first, Ranada’s intention is not, to tell the truth, but rather to plant the seeds of discontent and to give the “Yellow Social Media Trolls” lies they can spread.
Second, it is to increase readership amongst Rappler’s audience.
Does Pia want Andanar to snub OFWs? What is wrong with meeting with the DDS abroad?
One of the issues thrown at Secretary Martin Andanar is that he makes it to a point to meet with the DDS. The DDS are Filipinos and they have a right to be heard.
If Filipinos want to meet a government official, that official must go out of their way and not snub the Pinoys.
Apparently, Pia seems to want Andanar to ignore the Pinoys which is one thing the Yellows never seem to understand.
For OFWs, a visit from a government official makes them very happy because they feel that their government has not forgotten them after the elections.
These visits are not just about socializing with the OFWs; meeting and talking with them is the best way to understand first hand what their situation is in those foreign lands.
Andanar has to face foreign media to correct their perceptions.
The first who are hurt and offended when international media makes unfair reports about the President and the country and are the Filipino workers abroad.
To correct this perception it is Sec. Martin Andanar’s job to go out of the country and to be interviewed by foreign media so correct those preconceived notions.
Andanar’s Facebook post is being transparent (walang tinatago).
One of the sources of Rappler’s attack on Andanar are his Facebook posts. Why did Andanar post his activities abroad on Facebook?
Simple, because he wants to be transparent. It is important for him to know that Pinoys know exactly what he is doing.
Above all, Andanar’s Facebook posts have been an effective tool of touching-base and communicating with Filipinos around the world to bring President Duterte’s message across.
Rappler’s Style of journalism
Is this what we call journalism? Pia’s article on Rappler titled Excessive or not? Martin Andanar’s 10 trips abroad is just shamelessly malicious.