COMMUNICATIONS Secretary Martin Andanar lost cool on Tuesday, February 21, when pressed about his allegation that Senate reporters have been offered a $1,000 bribe to cover a press conference aimed at removing President Rodrigo Duterte from office.
Andanar refused to apologize for his accusation that there was monetary offer during the press conference of former Davao policeman Arturo Lascañas, who accused President Rodrigo Duterte of being behind the killings in Davao City when he was the former mayor.
He said he did not "invent things or add more or less" since his claim was based on "intelligence reports."
"I did not allude to reporter who received such money, dollar or peso. I was just pointing to the fact that there is concerted effort to have massive action, massive protest at Edsa on February 25," Andanar said.
"That's as good as you can get. And I don't want to invent things or add more or less. That's it," he added.
Pressed about his bribe allegation, Andanar apparently changed his mood and stressed that he was merely confused in translating his thoughts to Filipino since he is more fluent in Cebuano.
"Okay, let me tell you about this. I'm a Bisaya. I grew up in Cagayan de Oro. I also grew up in Surigao and my Tagalog may not be as perfect as your Tagalog. So let's put it at that," he said.
Andanar also seemed to lose his temper, when pressed further about his conflicting statement on the earlier remarks of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who both debunked the alleged plot to impeach Duterte.
"There are intelligence reports, well, you know, classified. I mean, they're classified reports, aren't they? There are also not classified reports. Do not engage us in a fight," he said.
While the reporter said he was merely asking for clarification, Andanar was quick to rebut, "Don’t do that to me… Let me ask you. Are you fair to everything that you write?... As a reporter, you were an ambassador of your newspaper."
At the sideline of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Asian Development Bank in Mandaluyong City, Esperon said the government would be in control of the possible destabilization plot against the President.
"If ever there are, leave it to us, we will monitor it and we will be on top of the situation," Esperon said. "We, government, for one, has to protect the interest of the Filipino and it has the interest of protecting itself." (SunStar Philippines)