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Ostracized in Malacañang? Palace stops transcripts of Roque’s media interviews

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Is there a brewing war between Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, both rumored to run in the 2019 polls?

Roque is getting the cold treatment from the Palace after the Presidential New Desk (PND) has stopped transcribing his regular press conferences and other media interviews.

The PND, the Malacañang newsroom attached to Andanar’s office, has previously issued the official transcripts of the speeches and interviews made by the President and his spokesman. Roque’s transcripts will instead be handled by a little known office called News and Information Bureau.

The latest change was imposed apparently to prevent Roque from using Palace resources to boost his senatorial bid next year, according to a Politiko source.

Apart from his press briefings in the Palace, Roque decided to visit several provinces to hold press conferences supposedly to bring the government closer to the people in the countryside. At the start of his term, Roque’s regular Palace press briefings were transcribed by the PND except for his media interviews in the provinces.

With the Palace allegedly restricting his resources, Roque reportedly plans to hire more staff, including his own transcribers, to help him if budget permits.

Andanar, on the other hand, has focused on upgrading the government’s media network while accomodating media interviews every now and then.

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