PRESIDENTIAL Communications Secretary Martin Andanar charged that members of the Senate press corps were bribed U.S. $1,000 each for attending a press con in which a retired Davao policeman supported earlier accusations about the Davao Death Squad and then mayor Rody Duterte’s role in some killings and bombings.

Why many people were skeptical about Andanar’s bribe story:

-- He only heard about it: “supposedly” the offer was made and “supposedly” some reporters received the money;

-- He couldn’t give specifics, not the source nor the person or persons who distributed the money and how;

-- The amount was too big to be credible: about P50,230 per person, by yesterday’s exchange rate and Manila standards of greasing media.



Members of the Senate press group issued a formal resolution condemning Andanar’s accusation: his second official brickbat since he assumed office. The first was issued Jan. 18 by the Malacañang press corps after he blamed media for “misreporting” President Duterte’s remarks on martial law. The rebuke was also in a resolution signed by journalists covering Duterte.



Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s camp anticipated the talk that would come out after he was rushed to the hospital “for stomach cramps.” His wife, Councilor Margot said, “They would like to make ‘ano’ speculations that he’s dying, that he has cancer, I’m sorry to disappoint them...”

For the record, nobody said publicly what Margot said they would say about Tomas. Maybe, in private but not like during the campaign when each political rival openly wished the other “gaba.”

Tomas ate take-out fish from a Japanese resto at the airport. That brand has a number of Cebu outlets.