By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing Editor .
PRESIDENTIAL Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar on Sunday said he is aware some Cagayan de Oro Press Club members have been critical of the Duterte administration but that does not, in any way, affect his high regard for the organization.
This, in gist, was Andanar’s message after he administered the oath of office of the new officers and board of directors of the country’s oldest press organization which, November last year, conferred on him honorary membership.
“The feeling is different if you are recognized and accepted in your own place,” the 44-year-old press secretary who spent his childhood days in Cagayan de Oro, his mother being a native Cagayanon.
He said being an active broadcast personality before he joined the Duterte’s Cabinet, he recognizes the freedom of expression of every member and that makes the club vibrant.
What makes the club vibrant, he said, is the fact that it is not dominated and controlled by one group with political leaning and that’s the essence of democracy. “Many (COPC members) are not pro-Digong (Duterte) but it’s okay.”
Andanar said he is hoping the new leadership will renew his membership since his status is not lifetime membership, unlike the one conferred on him by the National Press Club.
He vowed to support all activities of the COPC that are intended to strengthen and protect press freedom. The same was extended by former Zamboanga del Norte Congressman Romeo Jalosjos, in a keynote message his son, former Zamboanga Sibugay governor Rommel, read before handing over a P50,000 donation to the club.
Founded 47 years ago, the COPC which is composed of more than a hundred members, is now under the stewardship of Jesus “Ritchie” Salloman, a former correspondent of the now defunct Daily Globe and ex-president of the Northern Mindanao Defense Press Corps.