IATF-EID MEETING. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a meeting with the core members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on July 7, 2020. After the meeting, Duterte delivered a public address which was aired a few minutes before 1 a.m. on Wednesday (July 8). (Presidential photo by Arman Baylon)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte’s taped public addresses are aired late night because reporters covering the Palace beat requested it to be broadcasted on the same day he delivers them, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Senator Nancy Binay suggested that the President’s communications team could look for ways to improve the effectiveness of his taped late-night public addresses.

Netizens have also criticized Duterte’s late-night public addresses amid the national government’s reminder to maintain a healthy immune system amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Duterte’s most recent public address from Davao City was supposed to aired at 10 p.m. on Tuesday (July 7) but it was aired a few minutes before 1 a.m. on Wednesday (July 8).

However, Roque shared a photo of Duterte’s address on Tuesday, 8:58 p.m. It was captioned: “PRRD addressing the nation now.”

“Nagkaroon po ako ng konsultasyon sa ilang miyembro ng Malacañang Press Corps (MPC), maraming nagsabi na mas gusto nila na on the day itself, kahit na anong oras (I had a consultation with some members of the Malacañang Press Corps and many of them prefer to have the public address broadcasted on the day itself, any time),” he said in a virtual presser.

Roque claimed that members of MPC told him that they were willing to stay up late to cover the President.

“Marami pala sa taga Malacañang Press Corps magpuyat kesa gumising ng maaga so kaya naman napagbibigyan po (Many members of Malacañang Press Corp prefer to sleep late than wake up early so we just granted their request),” he said.

Asked if the communications team would be considering airing the President’s speeches live, Roque said it was better to leave the matter as is.

“Pabayaan mo na ‘yun sa Presidential Communications kung i-edit nila o hindi (Just allow the Presidential Communications to decide whether they want to edit it or not),” he said.

He said he personally wanted to have Duterte’s public addresses aired in the morning, the day after the President delivers his public address.

“Ako talaga, ang posisyon ko (Me, my position is to have it aired at), 8 o’clock in the morning the following day para regular na po ‘yan at alam na ng taong-bayan what to expect (so it will be a regular schedule and the people will know what to expect),” he said.

However, Roque said he is willing to discuss the matter with MPC members.

“Mag-usap tayo sa Malacañang Press Corps kasi kayo rin po ang aming kino-consider kasi kayo ang nagkocover kay Presidente (We should discuss this with members of Malacañang Press Corps because we also take into consideration that you are the ones covering the President). It proves that we listen to you but please po, malaman natin kung ano ang consensus talaga (there should really be a consensus),” he said.

Last April 14, Roque vowed to push for the earlier broadcast schedule of Duterte’s public addresses and IATF-EID meetings to ensure more viewers get to watch his address.

“Susubukan po natin na gawan ng paraan na lahat po ng mga mensahe ng Presidente ay mapaaga ang broadcast (We will try our best to find ways to air President’s messages much earlier),” he said in an interview over DZBB.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has repeatedly described Duterte as a “night owl” who preferred to work at night and sleep in the morning.

Meanwhile, Roque said Duterte is expected to return to Manila next week but did not give a specific date. He earlier said the President will spend the “entire weekend” working from his hometown. (PNA)