3 Palace officials under fire for boo-boo on press IDs

Published March 26, 2018, 3:33 PM

by Patrick Garcia


By Genalyn Kabiling

Three Palace employees might face administration complaints if they fail to give a satisfactory explanation about the reported irregular issuance of identification cards to journalists.

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

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said he has issued a show-cause order to the concerned officials at the International Press Center (IPC) amid an investigation into the supposed “breach of protocol” in the ID issuance.

The IPC, an office attached to the Presidential Communications Operations Office, earlier drew flak for the glaring grammatical errors in the IDs issued to the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC).

“Basta iyong nasa show cause order natin ay kailangang patunayan na hindi sila kasuhan ng administrative case [In the show cause order, they must prove why they should not charged with an administrative case],” Andanar said in a radio interview.

“I’m expecting one answer today, or about two answers today,” he said, referring to the officials asked to explain the recent incident.

Andanar admitted that he was dismayed by the blunder committed by the IPC especially since it was headed by a veteran government official. “Sabi ko sa kanila di… Sabi ko, alam mo ba na iyong ginawa ninyong kalokohan na iyan, sabi ko, it caused a national controversy [I told them, do you know that the blunder you committed caused a national controversy],” he said.

But Andanar claimed that he could not simply fire the concerned officials without giving them due process. He acknowledged that government workers are protected by the civil service code.

Andanar recently ordered an investigation on the alleged irregularities in the ID issuance to Palace journalists, citing four counts of breach of protocol. He claimed his staff did not seek his approval before releasing the IDs to the media.

“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.

He said the IPC also did not return the final design for his approval. The IPC also used an e-signature on the MPC IDs without Andanar’s permission. “IPC used the wrong e-signature,” he added.