The department order that Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar signed to allow accreditation of social media users is “silent” on how the use of profane language will affect an applicant’s access to cover President Rodrigo Duterte’s events.
Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan on Thursday said it was up Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson to decide if writing expletives in posts would result in losing one’s accreditation.
“The policy is silent. We’ll leave it to [the Social Media Office] headed by Assistant Secretary Uson to decide on that,” Ablan said.
“Because on Section 6, accreditation may only be withdrawn, cancelled or suspended for any of the following: abuse of rights and privileges extended by PCOO and put his or her accreditation to improper use,” he added.
Ablan was referring to Andanar’s Department Order No. 15 that created a policy on “interim social media practitioner accreditation.”
He said the PCOO had to delete a provision on the social media practitioners’ use of profanity in the earlier draft in favor of freedom of speech.
“We had to delete the requirement limitation regarding the use of profanity because it might encroach on their freedom of speech,” he said.
Social media users with PCOO accreditation are also no longer required to write about the Malacañang events they cover for the same reason, Ablan said.
“They will cover the President but we can’t force them to write, again, is using the freedom of speech. And so there is no requirement for them to write but they will be able to cover the President and PCO activities,” he said.
Ablan, who is the assistant secretary for policy and legal affairs, said that Uson could impose the no-profanity rule in the terms of conditions of the accreditation process.
“She is the Asec. for Social Media. The ultimate decision on how to handle the social media accreditation lies with her. I merely guide her with the legal and policy process,” he said.
After the briefing, Ablan said that a code of ethics for social media users covering Duterte’s events could be created later on.
“We will eventually get there, na magkaroon sila ng code of ethics,” he told reporters. —NB, GMA News