State media outfits are following Bong Go as he tours around

May 8, 2018 - 4:15 PM
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PTV4's photo shows Secretary Bong Go, whose face is a usual fixture next to the president, is seen serving ice cream during his tour ahead of the election period.
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The People’s Television Network recently posted a series of photographs showing Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, a projected candidate at next year’s senatorial race, serving soy drink taho, “dirty” or street ice cream and rice porridge or lugaw to a large crowd.

PTV4’s photo shows Bong Go, President Duterte’s loyal aide, serving lugaw in one of the stops of his tour. He is seen to file candidacy for senator.

 

Author Katrina Stuart Santiago on Facebook questioned the coverage received by the event, the “3-pointer ng Bayan” advocacy tour in Valenzuela City.

The event was also covered by the PTV Twitter account. Aside from distributing taho, ice cream and lugar, he can also seen speaking at a basketball tournament where he poses with the players.

Majority of the crowd photographed also appear to be wearing shirts bearing messages of support for Go.

Some have decried the event. One user questioned if tax money was being used to fund the event, while another questioned why the event was receiving national coverage from the PTV.

One administration critic meanwhile documented the backlash Go’s sponsored Instagram post received. He posted a screenshot of the dissenting reactions to Go’s account on the social media platform.

Interaksyon recently documented the growing number of social media groups voicing their for Go, a projected candidate at next year’s senatorial race.

Commission on Elections election officer Gregorio Bonifacio explained that there is no law penalizing “premature” campaigning by those who have yet to actually submit their certificate of candidacy. Thus, campaign paraphernalia, public appearances, and social media presence as early as a year before the elections are allowed.

Full coverage

Go’s recent public appearances have also been documented by other state-run communication bodies, such as the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

The PCOO through its Twitter account recently documented the presidential assistant’s rendezvous with victims of a residential fire in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

The PCOO has similarly released statements by and and photo galleries of the formerly soft-spoken and withdrawn presidential assistant.

A press release from April 2018 detailed Go’s request for sincere peace talks from the New People’s Army and and invitation to join government’s livelihood projects for surrendering insurgents.

Go’s recent activities have also been covered by another government-owned information body, the Philippine News Agency or PNA. The newswire service recently reported on Go’s office providing aide for victims of another fire, this time in Pasig City.

What state outfits are for, according to the law

With Go’s office yet to respond to the complaints, the two main questions of whether the government-owned communications agencies were simply carrying out their legal functions and whether public funds were put to misuse remain unanswered for those who made the allegations.

Secretary Bong Go shares the spotlight with President Duterte in recent photo galleries released by the PCOO.

On the one hand, the law that created the PTV provides for proper use of the state’s communication and broadcasting body.

Republic Act 10390 or  “An Act Revitalizing the People’s Television Network, Incorporated” lists among its policies to “maintain a broadcast industry system that serves as a vital link for participative democracy and effective government information dissemination through developmental communication, free from any political or partisan influence and held accountable directly to the people.”

The citizen’s charter of the PTV is available online for those who want a better understanding of the functions and responsibilities of the state-run network.