Palace bars Cabinet members from speaking for President Duterte on sensitive issues

MANILA — A high-ranking Malacañang official has ordered all other Cabinet members to refrain from speaking on behalf of President Rodrigo Duterte especially on sensitive issues.

In a memorandum issued Tuesday by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Cabinet members were advised that “official statements of the President on significant national and international issues shall be coursed through and delivered only by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella or, in his absence, by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.”

“The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) shall be the primary office authorized to respond to media inquiries and to disseminate information relating to the policies, programs, official activities and accomplishments of the President and the Executive Branch,” the memorandum said.

Members of the Cabinet, heads of agencies, offices and instrumentalities of the National Government, including Government-Owned or –Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), shall refrain from giving statements to the media “except on matters directly concerning their office or unless prior clearance has been secured from the PCOO.”

The order was issued pursuant to the instructions of President Duterte and in accordance with the consensus reached during previous Cabinet meetings. Cielito Reganit/PNA/