- Communications Secretary refused to apologize over the alleged $1000 bribery claim
- The Malacañang official insisted his info were based on confidential intelligence’
- He also clarified his remarks are not meant to discredit the Senate reporters as corrupt
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar refused to apologize for his claim on the alleged $1000 bribe offer to reporters who covered SPO3 Arturo Lascañas’ press conference on Monday, February 20.
Andanar said his information were based on ‘confidential intelligence reports’ and clarified he merely said the money was offered but does not necessarily mean there were takers.
The Malacañang official’s claim has slighted the Senate reporters who demanded an apology from Andanar for allegedly spreading ‘fake news’.
But Andanar maintained the information was validated and was not meant to say that reporters are corrupt.
“I already gave my statement and that’s my statement,” said Andanar. “The same way that you validate your stories, I also validate mine.”
Senate reporters were up in arms against Andanar for the malicious insinuations and strongly protested the “unsubstantiated and irresponsible claim.”
The journalists, in a joint statement, said that such incident neither occurred nor tolerated among Senate reporters. They also urged Andanar to prove his allegations or issue an apology.
However, Andanar, a former broadcast journalist himself before being appointed to Malacañang, insisted his claim was never meant to say that the reporters are corrupt.
“It was not intended to say that the reporters in Senate are corrupt…I hold them in high esteem. The reporters at the Senate are good reporters and they stuck to their journalistic integrity,” he explained.
In another statement, Andanar dismissed Lascañas press conference on Monday as a mere ‘protracted political drama’ against the president “orchestrated by sectors affected by the reforms initiated by the Duterte administration.”