AFTER getting flak and apologizing anew for making a major announcement on a private media outfit instead to Malacañang reporters for the second time this month, Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda insisted Saturday the Palace has no favored media outfit, much less leak information to it.

Lacierda reassured media Saturday that he and at least two officials of the Communications Group who came from the media outfit will not play favorites either.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

“We can assure you there will be no advance information given to (ABS-CBN) Channel 2. I should clearly remember that my first recipient of information should be the Malacañang Press Corps,” he said over radio interview.

He gave the reassurance a day after he announced on ABS-CBN-run outfits that President Aquino had signed Memorandum Circular No. 2, extending the term of non-career posts officials to October 31.

It was only after he made the announcement that he sent text messages to members of the Malacañang Press Corps about the new memorandum circular.

Earlier this month, Lacierda broke the news about Memorandum Circular No. 1 on ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), after postponing a briefing for the Malacañang Press Corps.

The first incident drew outrage from reporters covering the Palace beat.

On the other hand, two officials of the Communications Group -- Ricky Carandang and Manuel Quezon III -- are former talents of ANC. They had resigned their posts to be with government.

“Very clear yan si Sec. Carandang at Manolo (Quezon) ... in-assure nila walang mangyayaring leak ... Si Ricky at Manolo igagarantiya sa inyo di mangyayari,” Lacierda said.

He added that Friday’s incident was entirely his “fault” and Carandang and Quezon had nothing to do with it.

“It was my own decision, I stand by it, I was wrong at ‘yan ang naging kamalian (and that was my mistake),” Lacierda said.

EO delay

On the other hand, Lacierda explained that the delay in the briefing for Executive Order No. 1 Friday afternoon was due to President Aquino’s afternoon engagement.

He said they initially thought Aquino would sign the EO, which created a Truth Commission, at 1 p.m. Friday but it turned out he had a scheduled engagement in Pasay City.

New practices

Meanwhile, Lacierda said the Communications Group is exploring new ways of dealing with Palace reporters, including giving them advance copies of speeches for embargo.

He also said he will accommodate questions on various issues from Palace reporters at night so he can prepare better for the next day’s media briefing. (JMR/Sunnex)