MANILA

2 legislators slam PCOO over China radio program

TWO legislators on Tuesday, May 12, slammed the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) for allowing the broadcast of a radio program called “Wow China” over Radyo Pilipinas, a state-owned AM radio station.

The program, which has been criticized as “pro-China propaganda, drew flak from netizens.

“PCOO should be fulfilling its mandate of helping the Filipino people with relevant and timely information especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. But instead, it is allowing a program that promotes China and its state ideology. Filipino taxpayers should be indignant that we are essentially paying for a radio show that promotes China's policies,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said.

“It is also very hypocritical how the government is critical of alleged foreign ownership of other Filipino-owned media entities, but is aiding and abetting this clear foreign encroachment in our own,” she added.

Hontiveros called for the cancellation of the radio show, saying the state media must prioritize the interests of Filipinos.

“'Wow China' should be cancelled immediately. PCOO and PBS should likewise be made to explain to Filipino taxpayers why it allowed the airing of Chinese state propaganda in a government-owned radio station,” she said.

Bayan Muna Representative Ferdinand Gaite, for his part, said the program is “another blunder courtesy of the PCOO.”

"While there is nothing wrong about appreciating the rich cultures of our Asian neighbors, this show is really unpleasant to the ears as it comes at the heels of China's repeated disrespect of our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Gaite said in a statement.

"On one hand, the government radio station is busy promoting 'better relations and friendship' with China. On the other hand, the Chinese government is busy establishing its foothold on our islands in the West Philippine Sea. We're blasting Chinese propaganda on our radio, and they're blasting Filipino fishermen off our waters and pointing guns at our navy,” he added.

Gaite said the radio show is a project included in the Memorandum of Agreement on News, Information Exchange, Training and for other Purposes between China and the Philippines.

"It would be good to know what other projects are in this contract between Philippines and China, and also know to what extent would the PCOO act as a PR machinery of the Chinese government," Gaite said. (SunStar Philippines)


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