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Renewing acquaintance with Secretary Martin

FROM WAY BACK – It was a most enjoyable and informative lunch with an acquaintance, a colleague if you may, from way back. No other than Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), whose “territories” include the controversial Philippine News Agency and PTV4. Then the entertainment media knew Martin as the friendly TV5 journalist and executive. Rodrigo Roa Duterte won as President and one of his early appointees was Martin.

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Lolit Solis, through Gorgy Rula, invited some members of the press to an informal buffet lunch at Annabel’s on behalf of the Secretary who, despite the trappings of a Cabinet member, remained friendly, calling the writers by first names. Ricky of Star, Isah of Standard, Mario B of People’s Journal, MJ of TV5, and Mario D of ABS-CBN.

Lolit disclosed “love ko si Martin” because he’s related to the Villars, married to the niece of former Senate President Manny and incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar. “Alam mo naman ako, forever close sa mga Villar.”

IN GOOD HANDS – As PCOO secretary, Martin faces a lot of challenges. But then – in the words of Isah Red – “the office is in good hands.”

For example, the PNA had been neglected for years and years, leaving it topsy-turvy, “maraming palpak.” Martin assigned a competent hand to head the Agency and implement reforms.

There are bills in the Senate and House to improve the operation and image of PTV4, another “napabayaan” government media outlet. Martin is doing something about it.

Secretary Martin Andanar recently led a roundtable discussion tackling fake news – a big problem these days of social media – with 32 information ministers of the ASEAN region to combat them.

Yes, the colorful Mocha Uson is under Martin.

LIFE AFTER – When he’s no longer in government, Martin hopes to return to his roots in Siargao Islands, enjoy a simple life and teach young people. He founded the Sons of Surigao Youth in 2006 which established libraries and trained youth leaders. Martin also established the Move My Muntinlupa that advocates volunteerism, ethical leadership, and good governance.

Martin’s advocacies won him the US State Department Civic Participation Leadership Training at the Northern Ilinois University from May 26 to June 28, 2008.

Take note of Martin Andanar’s curriculum vitae.

Senior Executive Fellow, Harvard; Executive Course in Public & Non- Profit Management, Georgetown; BA in Film & Media Studies and Political Studies, Federation University of Australia; MA in Entrepreneurship, Asian Institute of management; PhD in Public Administration, UP Diliman.