MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar’s conduct was shameful and unprofessional, according to social media users and lawmakers who reacted to his remarks at a meet and greet with Filipinos in the United Kingdom. In an apparent play on the acronym “EU”, Andanar called President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics from the European Union “pala-iyot” and “kulang… sa iyot” [fond of sex or sex-starved]. “Iyot” is Bisaya for “sex”.
“So is crass the new standard for governance now?” asked Twitter user @albutra.
@MLAntoinette echoed the sentiment, asking, “From a scale of 1 to Andanar, how crass can you be?”
@Cinephilliacy said, “Ang mature po ng ating PCOO Secretary (Our PCOO Secretary is so mature),” to which @mikokokranch replied, “Pang-PBB maturity ni Andanar (Andanar’s maturity level is fit for Pinoy Big Brother).”
For his part, Akbayan Representative Tom Vilarin said, “It’s highly unbecoming of a Cabinet Secretary in charge of official communications to degenerate into political debauchery. But again the standards under the Duterte administration leaves nothing to the imagination in its vulgarity and sense of proportion. I don’t think Filipinos deserve to be represented in such debauchery and perversity. It’s what we call now as “andanarspeak” – nagpapaandar a la Dutertespeak. I think Andanar should apologize for such rude remarks and clean up his mouth as well as his office which is in disarray.”
Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat also weighed in on the matter, saying, “Sana pagtuunan naman niya ng pansin ang tungkulin nya bilang Communications Office chief para ‘di pumapalpak ang management ng PNA, natitigil ang fake news at misleading audiovisual information materials galing sa Comms Office, at mabigyan ng tamang direksyon ang PIA (I wish he would just focus on his function as Communications Office chief so that the management of PNA won’t be in shambles, so that fake news and misleading audiovisual information materials from the Comms Office will stop, and so that the PIA will be given the right direction).”
Baguilat added, “Dun na lang siya mag-concentrate kaysa magkalat sa ibang bansa ng kabastusan (He should concentrate on that instead of spreading obscenity in other countries).”
“Patay na si Hesus” star Chai Fonacier also tweeted, saying, “For the record: this person’s language does not represent Bisaya people and our attitudes. Thanks. #iDisownAndanar”
@lvciel707 could not believe Andanar said what he did, and tweeted, “Shame on you! You’re in a government and you used such a term like that?”
@nickzoned had this observation: “Sobrang unprofessional naman ni Andanar. Kadiri (Andanar is so unprofessional. Disgusting).”
@amwowie directed a comment at Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, saying, “Pagsabihan niyo nga na i-censor ang lumalabas sa bibig niya (Please tell him to censor what’s coming out of his mouth).”
“Kaulaw, Mr. Andanar! Bisaya term for ‘kakahiya (embarrassing)’,” said @lavaholic143.
@james_mamaril said Andanar had better watch his words and help the President “with his valid national agenda,” instead of being a “public relations burden.”
He added, “I hope Sec. Andanar sheds light on this. Nakaka-disappoint lang. Dami na problema ng Pangulo. ‘Wag nang dumagdag (It’s just disappointing. The President already has a lot of problems. He shouldn’t add to that).”
What he said in UK
A video of Andanar made the rounds of Facebook, where he was seen saying, “Iyong mga maiingay na pala-iyot, iyong mga maiingay, alam mo, ang problema sa kanila, hanggang ingay lang. Wala namang napatunayan. Kung tatanungin mo iyong kanilang mga Prime Minister, Presidente, iyon talagang namamahala sa kanilang bansa, pati sila sumusuporta kay Presidente Duterte (The noisy ones who are sex-crazed, the noisy ones, you know, their problem is, they’re all noise. But they haven’t proved anything. If you ask their Prime Minister, their President, those who are really in charge of their country, even they support President Duterte).”
Andanar continued, “Iyong mga nasa baba na pala-iyot, sila lang ang maingay kasi kulang sila sa iyot. Kung merong mga bata dito, huwag niyo na lang i-interpret iyon (Those down there who are sex-crazed, they’re just noisy because they’re not having enough sex. If there are children here, please don’t translate it anymore).”
Nevertheless, during his meet and greet, he also stressed that the Philippines is a democracy, and that the government welcomes and tolerates criticism.
He also called for unity, and expressed wishes that citizens would take part in nation-building.
Andanar heaped praises as well on Duterte, and noted was the latter the only leader in Southeast Asia to defeat the Islamic State in five months.
“Mahal na mahal niya talaga ang ating bansa (He truly loves our country),” Andanar said.
The Progressive Alliance and the Party of European Socialists visited the Philippines recently to make known their alarm over the bodies that have been piling up under Duterte’s war on drugs.
According to a report by Philstar.com, the “human rights mission” of the two groups was hosted by the Akbayan Party, which is also a member of Progressive Alliance.
The latter is “an international network of political parties, civil society organizations, parliamentarians, and individuals dedicated to defend and uphold progressive values such as democracy, social justice, and human rights,” Exequiel Salcedo of the legislative staff of Akbayan partylist told Philstar.com.
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