TV networks initially barred, then given access to Duterte’s inauguration

Change is coming and it definitely seems that way as incoming presidential communications secretary Martin Andanar announced on Wednesday that broadcast networks are allowed to cover President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration on June 30.

Andanar said that Duterte approved the TV networks’ request to broadcast the inauguration live.

After serious consideration, the organizing committee of the Inauguration 2016 has decided to approve the request of the national broadcasting companies to have a strategic space on Malacañang grounds,” he said.

Martin Andanar

The journalists will be given their “strategic space” near Gate 6.

This was a different story a few days ago.

On Monday, June 20, inauguration organizer Liset Marquez told news site Rappler that media outlets will only get to use the photos and videos of the event from Radio TV Malacañang (RTVM).

Andanar also said that media are not allowed in Duterte’s inauguration venue in Malacañang’s Rizal Hall due to limited space, while saying that Duterte even requested his incoming Cabinet members not to bring their spouses along.


Their plan then was to allow journalists and other media workers to monitor the event from the New Executive Building, where the Malacañang Press Corps works.

“Talagang masikip lang talaga sa loob… ng Rizal Hall. Hindi siya ganun kalaki ang espasyo… So iyong atin namang  mga kasamahan sa RTVM ay sanay naman sila sa mga broadcast pool. So, I think you will not have a difficult time,” Andanar said.

Andanar added then that only RTVM would be allowed in Rizal Hall, where around 500 guests would be accommodated.

As expected, netizens have different reactions to this new change leading to Duterte’s inauguration.

Some said that there’s nothing new about Duterte’s camp changing their stand on things, while others said that the media should be thankful to have been given the permission to broadcast the inauguration, which should be taken as an opportunity for them to straighten out if they want to cover more news from the president-elect.

TV Networks Allowed

But as what veteran journalist Inday Espina-Varona has said, Duterte’s inauguration is an important event that should be covered by more than just the official Palace broadcast media.
“Okay, so it’s a small hall. Good for 500 people; invites limited to 150. But I don’t agree with coverage strictly dictated by RTVM. There is enough space for a pool from the private/alternative/digital media. There ought to be more than one PERSPECTIVE for an important event. There is no reason to fear a different perspective.

This is extreme news management. Disappointing, to say the least. Media will do its job despite these constraints. Journalists will find ways to file stories beyond that which the State Media feeds. Ginawa na yan dati. Gagawin uli.”

Duterte Inauguration

On the same day Andanar announced the approval of TV networks’ live coverage of the June 30 event, he also revealed that the guest list has increased to 627 from 500 guests to be accommodated in the Rizal Hall. He said that this is not yet final, but even these figures were a huge jump from what Duterte initially said as an event with only 150 guests during a May 23 press briefing.

More guests were added to the list due to the president-elect’s insistence to invite Davao City councilors, according to Davao City Information Officer Joseph Garcia.

However, it seems like there is still no invitation extended to Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, whose camp said that they are taking cues from Duterte’s camp as to how the inauguration will go. Her camp also said that they are willing to change their preparations if there happens to be a last-minute invitation from Duterte.

Duterte’s special assistant Bong Go explained earlier that Duterte’s decision to hold separate inaugurations was to allow Robredo to invite as many guests as she’d like to her town inauguration.

Duterte will take oath at Malacañang instead of the usual venue at the Quirino Grandstand, while Robredo chose to be inaugurated at the Quezon City Reception House, along with representatives from the fishermen, farmers, and labor sectors she has worked with as a human rights lawyer.

Both Duterte and Robredo vowed to hold simple and modest inaugurations.

With Andanar’s promise of Duterte giving one of the “best speeches ever delivered in the Palace” this June 30, everyone will get to see the incoming president take office through live TV coverage not only from PTV-4 and RTVM, thanks to Duterte’s camp changing their minds about the media coverage of the inauguration.


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