THE PRESIDENTIAL Security Group (PSG) on Tuesday, May 1, temporarily barred members of the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) from entering the Palace grounds due to a “heightened alert” in the area.
“It is Labor Day, so we are anticipating protest rallies here in Mendiola. There is a heightened alert… Our leadership has declared a red alert,” PSG Chief of Staff Colonel Potenciano Camba said in an interview with reporters.
Mr. Camba said they had to communicate first with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) because they did not expect that MPC members would come on Labor Day.
“Na-facilitate na ang pagpasok nila, hindi kami nag-expect na marami ang papasok. Kung mayroon mang inconvenience pasensya na po,” he also said. (Their entry has been facilitated. We did not expect that many would come to work today. If there is any inconvenience, we apologize.)
This is the second time this year that the PSG barred members of the press from entering the Palace.
Asked if this is going to be a policy now, Mr. Camba said: “Hindi naman, ano lang, basta may prior coordination siguro, things will be smoother.” (Not really. Perhaps, as long as there is prior coordination, things will be smoother.)
In February, President Rodrigo R. Duterte himself prohibited’s senior reporter Pia I. Ranada from entering the Palace due to “loss of trust.” — Arjay L. Balinbin