The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is not involved in any partisanship when the Presidential Broadcast Staff-Radio Television Malacanang (PBS-RTVM), one of its attached offices, covered the gathering of lawmakers at a sports club in Quezon City, a Palace official said today.
PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan explained that RTVM merely complied with the request for coverage of the House activity in the interest of transparency.
He revealed that it was Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy who requested for RTVM coverage of the House assembly at the Celebrity Sports Plaza in Quezon City.
RTVM is the government entity that provides broadcast coverage and documentation of the President’s activities in and outside the Palace.
“The RTVM coverage posted this morning on our social media accounts does not reflect the PCOO’s position on the present poetical situation in the HOR (House of Representatives) or any partisanship on the matter,” Ablan said in a statement posted on the RTVM Facebook page.
“The PCOO and RTVM simply complied to the request for the coverage, with the promotion of factual information and transparency, especially on tax expenditures that concern all the Filipino taxpayers, in mind,” he added.
This morning, more than a 100 lawmakers gathered at the Celebrity Sports Plaza and elected Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco as the new leader of the House. Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, however, rejected the election of Velasco since the alleged session was illegal since it was held outside the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City.
Ablan tried to explain how RTVM ended up covering the controversial House assembly.
He claimed that RTVM assigns a team to the Batasan complex Monday “to prepare for the resumption of session.” This was in line with the request made by the House for the live coverage of the deliberations of the proposed 2021 national budget, he said.
“The assigned crew was informed to transfer to the Celebrity Sports Plaza instead and upon getting to the venue, RTVM covered the activity,” Ablan said.
Ablan defended RTVM coverage of the House engagement, citing its commitment to transparency despite the leadership conflict at the lower chamber.
“The RTVM has committed itself in this endeavor to help promote transparency amongst the different executive department and agedness, the HOR, and the Filipino people on the government’s planned tax expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year,” he said.
“Regardless of the present political climate within the HOR, the RTVM has heeded to the request for such needed coverage,” he said.
The RTVM has deployed teams to the Batasan to cover the lawmakers’ budget deliberations in the past month. The videos have been carried live on RTVM’s Facebook page.