By Mario Casayuran
The Malacanang communications’ arm may just want a whiff of winter in Europe to clear the name of President Duterte before the international community.
Opposition Sen. Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan offered this probable explanation why the national government seemed suddenly interested in clearing its name before the international community on the controversial arrest of Maria Ressa of Rappler, a news website.
Ressa is facing a cyber libel case.
Purported aim of the trip is to explain that the President has nothing to do with Ressa’s arrest.
Before, according to Pangilinan, it has ignored criticisms on extrajudicial killings as a result of the drug war. “Why the sudden urge to go into this information caravan? Aren’t the President’s defenders enough to parry the views on the apparently harassment incident?” he asked.
“Could it be that Secretary (Martin) Andanar and the PCOO (Presidential Communications Operations Office) people just want a whiff of winter? How much is the PCOO spending for this trip (to the Northern Hemisphere) in the taxpayers’ money?” he added.
Pangilinan, president of the opposition Liberal Part (LP), maintained that it is more worthwhile and beneficial to spend it in helping the Department of Health (DoH) in its information drive to get as many children vaccinated to help curb the measles outbreak.
He advised Malacanang to use the government’s meager resources judiciously.