- Communications Secretary bared alleged media payoff for self-confessed DDS hitman’s presscon
- He said reporters were offered $1000 to cover the press conference
- Senate media shot back, dared Andanar to prove his claim
MANILA, Philippines – Communications Secretary Martin Andanar claimed reporters were offered as much as $1000 to cover the press conference of former cop and self-confessed Davao Death Squad hitman Arturo “Arthur” Lascañas.
While not naming sources, Andanar said he was tipped off about the supposed payoff.
“Meron na rin tayong natanggap na reports na as much as $1000 ang ipinamigay dito sa presscon na ito. Hindi ko na lang papangalanan ang aking source pero meron daw pinagbibigyan ng ganitong kalaking halagang pera para ma-cover ito,” GMA News quoted him as saying.
[We have received reports that as much as $1000 was given for this presscon. I won’t name my source but they said they were given this big amount to cover this.]
Andanar also said he did not know who received or refused the offer.
“Pinagbibigyan daw ang mga reporter doon kung saan nangyari. May nag-offer daw pero hindi ko lang alam kung tinanggap. Pero merong nagsumbong sa akin,” he said.
[The reporters were given the money there. There was someone who offered but I do not know who accepted. But there were some who told me.]
For their part, media covering the Senate denied Andanar’s allegations.
“We, broadcast, online, and print journalists covering the Senate strongly protest the unsubstantiated and irresponsible claims made by Press Secretary Martin Andanar that reporters were given as much as $1,000 each to cover the press conference of alleged former Davao Death Squad leader Arthur Lascañas this morning,” the group said.
The Senate media also dared Andanar to prove his claim or apologize otherwise.
“We would like to ask the Secretary to prove his allegations as such statements placed our credibility and our respective media entities under a cloud of doubt,” the group said. “Otherwise, we demand a public apology from Secretary Andanar for spreading ‘fake news,’ truly unbecoming of someone who, just a few months ago, came from the media industry.”