Probe on ‘breach of protocol’ in issuance of IDs to journalists covering Malacañang underway

Published March 23, 2018, 2:38 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

An investigation on the “breach of protocol” in the issuance of identification cards to journalists covering Malacañang is underway.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Martin Andanar has ordered the probe on the press pass issued by the International Press Center (IPC), citing his lack of approval of ID’s final design, lack of consent on the use of his e-signature, among others.

The latest investigation came after Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) found grammatical errors printed on the 2018 IDs issued by the IPC, an office attached to the PCOO. The IPC handles the issuance of IDs for local and foreign journalists covering Palace events, visits of world leaders, and major international summits in the country.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar (ALBERT ALCAIN/PPD / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar

Andanar said the investigation would cover the IPC, which issued the IDs to the journalists, admitting the incident was quite embarrassing.

In ordering the investigation, Andanar listed down four counts when protocols have been breached in the issuance of the MPC IDs. He said he was asked to approve the logo on the front of the ID but did not see its back side.

“Staff did not show the backflip of the ID to me,” he said, referring to the portion of IPC conditions to bearer that were riddled with grammatical mistakes.

“IPC did not return the final design for my approval,” he added.

Andanar also claimed that IPC used an e-signature on the MPC IDs “without my permission.” “IPC used the wrong e-signature,” he added.

The MPC IDs, which were distributed to reporters a few days ago, have already been recalled by the Palace amid the grammar controversy.

The front of the card contained the reporter’s name, media organization, and the date of issuance

and expiry while the back side contained the conditions to the ID bearer as well as Andanar’s signature.

“This card to be worn during presidential coverage, but subject to specific accreditation/security requirements, but Subject to specific accreditation/security requirements. It should be worn all times in entering Malacañang and while inside the Palace grounds. Unauthorized use of this card will result in confiscation,” the card read.

“It is non-transferable and void if altered this card remains property of the Presidential Communications Office. Upon expiration or when resigns from his or her agency, this card should be returning without delay to the International Press Center, G/F National Press Club, Magallanes Drive, Intramuros, Manila,” it added.

Read more: Press IDs for media covering Malacañang becomes subject of ridicule for grammatical errors