Duterte inauguration at Rizal Hall off-limits to media – Andanar

ONLY the state-run Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM) will be allowed to cover the inauguration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on June 30 at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang, incoming Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Monday.

In an interview with Malacañang reporters, Andanar explained that only RTVM can go to the venue because of "limited space," contrary to the perception that Duterte is avoiding the national media.

"The plan, as of now, is that the RTVM can cover [Duterte's inauguration] at Rizal Hall," Andanar said.

(Video by Ruth Abbey Gita/Sunnex)

Asked then if Duterte is just avoiding the national media, Andanar said, "No, it's just the space inside the Rizal Hall is limited. There is no space and that the number of guests is just 500. Besides, RTVM is used to limited space so I think it will not have a difficult time [covering on June 30]."

Andanar said that even Duterte's incoming Cabinet Secretaries were asked not to bring with them their spouses or any company due to the limited number of invited guests.

He also clarified that Duterte did not say that he would boycott the media during his six-year term.

"He did not say [that he will avoid national media] for six years. He did not say that; what was said is he would [not entertain any interview from them] until the end of year term," Andanar said.

"You know, presidency is six years so I don't think the President won't talk to you because as you can recall, he talked to reporters of GMA News and ABS-CBN when he was in Cebu," he added.

For media who will cover the event, he said they will be given an accreditation and can then monitor the inaugural ceremony at the press office located at the New Executive Building in Malacañang.

Duterte opted for a simple inauguration, with only 500 guests to attend the event. At the event, finger food like Duterte’s favorite maruya cooked Davao-style and juice will be served.

Andanar said that they are still preparing Duterte's inaugural speech and could not confirm what language the incoming president will use.

Andanar met with outgoing Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. for the second time to ensure a "seamless" transition on June 30.

"Our dialogues are continuing so we can share to incoming Secretary Martin Andanar all the important information about the tasks that the Communications office has to do," Coloma said. "This is just part of our engagements to ensure a seamless transition." (Sunnex)
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