Palace: Email of Olympic skater's mom likely went to 'spam'
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2014 - 2:46pm

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang reiterated on Tuesday that the Office of the President did not receive an electronic mail (email) from the mother of Olympic figure skater Michael Martinez, saying the message probably went to the 'spam' folder.

"Ayon sa ulat, hindi natanggap yung email message na 'yon. Ang inoffer na possibility ay napunta iyon sa spam," said Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. at a televised press briefing.

Spam refers to unsolicited bulk email or electronic messages that may threaten cybersecurity.

Coloma said by protocol, Malacañang staff will no longer go over the spam emails since these have implications to the security of the President's website.

According to a STAR report, Mrs. Martinez sent an email message to the Office of the President (op@president.gov.ph) on Oct. 27, 2013.

She was requesting direction on how she could inform President Aquino of Michael’s qualification in the 2014 Winter Olympics and their dire need of government financial support.

Mrs. Martinez also forwarded the same message to three other officials of the Philippine News Agency, to email addresses posted on their website's "Contact" page.

Coloma assured that they check emails everyday, which would be referred to concerned government agencies who would engage with the message senders.

"Lahat naman nung natatanggap ay inaaksyunan," Coloma said. "I believe that there is an acknowledgement and updating process regarding this."

In an interview with freelance reporter Simone Orendain on Dec. 9, 2013, Mrs. Martinez expressed her doubts on whether the President and his office received her email.

The comments of Mrs. Martinez, which were published online on Jan. 15 by the Catholic Register, went viral and provoked criticisms against the Philippine government for supposedly failing to give support to the skater.

But Mrs. Martinez had clarified that they finally received financial aid from the Philippine Sports Commission.

The agency had pledged $50 daily allowance or $1,200 for 24 days for Michael's Olympic participation, delivered by Philippine Olympic Committee executive secretary Gina Calaguas last Feb. 13.

Read: Olympic skater’s mother clarifies financial aid from gov’t

One of the youngest competitors in the Olympics, the 17-year-old figure skater from Muntinlupa placed 19th with a final score of 184.25 points at the Sochi Games.

The STAR reported that Michael was also the first Southeast Asian skater to compete in the Winter Olympics.

Coloma said the entire world now acknowledges the skills of the Filipino skater, who has now gained a "groundswell of support" even from the government.

"Kung anuman yung naging pagkukulang sa pagsuporta sa kanya, umaani naman siya ngayon ng tremendous support from all sectors," Coloma said.

CATHOLIC REGISTER COLOMA GINA CALAGUAS HERMINIO COLOMA JR. MALACA MICHAEL MARTINEZ MRS. MARTINEZ OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT WINTER OLYMPICS
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