Analyst: Duterte's communication team should clarify chain of command
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - September 9, 2016 - 1:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — The communication team of President Rodrigo Duterte should clarify the chain of command to avoid confusion on the statements it releases, an analyst said.

"Sometimes it's really not clear who's speaking for the president," De La Salle University professor Richard Heydarian said in an interview with ANC's Headstart on Friday morning.

Heydarian noted that there are instances where Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar speak for the president.

The political analyst noted that the president's communication team is new to the office but they have to keep up with Duterte, who often issues controversial statements.

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"We have to have a very clear division of labor here. This shows that within the administration there is still scrambling to make sure they have a clear chain of command," Heydarian said.

Following the president's remarks against United States President Barack Obama, Heydarian said that Duterte's team should make sure that he sticks to the "talking points."

"Sometimes it's better to just leave it to the other guys to do the explanation especially when it comes to global diplomacy. Let the professionals do it while the president just should stick to more thematic issues," the political analyst said.

Heydarian noted that Filipinos can adjust to Duterte's spontaneous speeches but that may not be the case in the international setting.

The new administration should seek advice on foreign and domestic affairs, particularly on its allies, Heydarian said.

"We Filipinos will adjust to our president, we elected him and we respect the will of the people but you cannot expect the world to adjust to President Duterte... There should be a middle point here and the best person to breach that gap is the communication team," Heydarian said.

The analyst added that it should be the job of Andanar as chief of the Presidential Communications Office to bridge such gap.

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