ZAMBOANGA CITY – Some media members on Saturday assailed the Philippine Information Agency in Zamboanga City for preventing them to interview Secretary Martin Andanar, head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, who arrived here to talk about various government programs.
Andanar, arrived together with other officials, including Undersecretary Joel Egco, a veteran and respected journalist, who is now the executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Violence against Media Workers.
Journalists said they went to the airport to welcome and interview Andanar, but the local PIA head, Noemi Edaga, prevented them from interviewing Andanar. “Malilintikan daw siya and that the forum had already began at the Garden Orchid Hotel,” one journalist quoted Edaga as saying.
But another journalist claimed that Andanar was interviewed by PIA after the journalists left the airport.
Another television reporter said: “We want to interview Secretary Andanar at the PIA kiosk at the airport, but we were turned down by the PIA regional director Noemi Edaga.”
There was no immediate statement from Edaga.
Prior to their arrival, Egco had already invited local journalists to attend the forum which was part of the PCOO roadshow in Mindanao. Egco’s Presidential Task Force on Media Security was created by President Rodrigo Duterte in line with the government’s zeal in protecting press freedom.
The forum was intended to engage and inform stakeholders of the programs by providing a venue for collaboration aimed at further strengthening PCOO programs. It was attended by government employees and other stakeholders. (Mindanao Examiner)