The Philippine News Agency, the government news wire service run by the Presidential Communications Operations Office, made an outrageous mistake over the weekend: It published a commentary from Xinhua, the Chinese state-run news operation, that criticized the arbitral ruling won by the Philippines against China. After a belated storm surge of criticism, the opinion piece by a Chinese commentator was taken down on Wednesday.
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar then took PNA to task, issuing a memo directing agency officials “to explain in writing why they should not be held liable for any administrative charges.” He added: “We will take appropriate action against liable PNA officials and/or staff if they are found to commit negligence in carrying out their duties and responsibilities.”
The negligence angle is based on the assumption that the posting of the commentary was essentially an editing error—a…
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