Presidential Communications Office head Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday seemed to have lost his temper while being quizzed by a reporter on what he called ouster plots against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Marlon Ramos of the Philippine Daily Inquirer pressed Andanar during the news briefing on why top security officials like Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon had dismissed reports on destabilitation.
"Alam mo kasi, Marlon, mayroong mga reports na hindi pa nakakarating sa lahat. Merong mga intelligence reports na--you know classified, they are classified reports. Meron ding mga hindi kina-classify na report," he said.
"Huwag mo kaming pagsabungin, Marlon. Huwag mong sabihin...because once again you will write something and you will say na ito sabi ni Andanar. Walang ganoon. Basta kami sa Cabinet, meron kaming information na natatanggap na sinasabi din namin because we're open, we're very transparent," he added.
Ramos responded that as a reporter he was just asking for clarification.
"Hindi ko kayo pinagsasabong, sir. I'm just asking for clarification because--" he said.
"Eh iyon ang lumalabas, Marlon, eh. Walang ganyanan," Andanar replied.
The exchange happened a day after Andanar drew widespread criticisms from members of the media over an allegation that reporters were given $1,000 to cover the press conference of retired policeman Arthur Lascañas at the Senate.
Lascañas during the press conference claimed that the Davao Death Squad existed and that Duterte ordered its members to kill certain personalities.
"Wala ho. Hindi naman po ganoon. Galing din po kayo sa media. Alam n'yo rin po iyon, asking clarification," Ramos said to explain that he wasn't pitting the secretaries against each other.
Andanar appeared to lose his temper when he asked Ramos if he had been fair in his reports.
"Alam ko rin iyon. Let me ask you. Are you fair to everything you write?" the Communications Secretary asked.
"Yes," Ramos replied.
"How your posts on social media?" Andanar followed up.
"That's my personal--" the reporter responded.
"Exactly. Pero as a reporter, you're an ambassador of your newspaper," Andanar said.
Andanar writes a weekly "Brew Point" column for Inquirer since October 6, 2016.
Andanar and Ramos shook hands after the briefing.