PCO takes down 'martial law, now' video animation without explanation

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — The video animation aimed to defend martial law, was posted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), and deleted after a few hours after it was uploaded on Wednesday night.

The video features an animated young boy using "martial law" to combat extremism, saying military rule should be the rule of the land. The post on PCO's official Facebook and Twitter pages read "#DefendRepublic."

Read the transcript of the video voice over below:

"In the free society, there are groups who don't want to give independence. They are adamant on detaining peaceful spirits. They are distressing feelings with fears. Let us not allow them to terrify us. We all fight with unity. Martial law should be the rule of the land. Martial law, now."

As of Thursday, the PCO pages has not issued an explanation as to why it deleted the video.

When Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella was asked on Thursday regarding the video, he refused to comment, and directed the media to ask PCO Secretary Martin Andanar.

"We did not prepare the video. I did not see the entirety of the video. There should really be a flow (on approval of video), but it is better referred to Sec. Martin," he said.

CNN Philippines reached out to the office of Andanar, but he has yet to take our calls.

Despite PCO's move to delete it, netizens were quick to download the video and share it online.

'Propaganda' PCO video criticized

While some criticized the video execution as poorly-made and "cheap," more netizens slammed the government for creating and spreading misleading propaganda materials using taxpayers' money.

Netizens also slammed the government for "oversimplifying" and miseducating the public on the ongoing martial law in Mindanao.



PCOO at it again. This time with a horribly drawn cartoon. from Philippines

Editor and writer Inday Espina-Varona denounced PCO Secretary Martin Andanar for the video.

"You should be ashamed of yourself. Here's my response: You will not overcome. We have not forgotten this country's fascist past. And we will never stop fighting, not till our last breath... This video has all the markings of fascism, always the refuge of cowards," she said in a Facebook post. 

Another Twitter page "fixed" PCO's video by using facts to combat fake news.


Duterte declared martial law for the whole island of Mindanao, including Basilan and Sulu on May 23, following the clash in Marawi City between government troops and local terror group Maute.

Blunder after blunder

This gaffe comes after a series of blunders from the PCO.

The Philippine News Agency (PNA) on May 30 released a statement acknowledging it recently published misleading news reports.

A story titled "95 states convinced there are no EJKs in PHL" was published on PNA website on May 15. On May 19, the cited Universal Periodic Review tweeted, "To our best knowledge, 95 states were not "convinced that EJK is non-existent".

On May 27, the PNA published "Urban warfare a challenge for soldiers in Marawi," accompanied by a photo of a soldier - which was found out to be a picture taken during the Vietnam War.

READ: PNA 'regrets' posting misleading news reports

PCO Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson was slammed for spreading allegedly inaccurate photo misrepresenting Philippine troops on the field. She said on May 30 it was a "symbolism" and urged her critics to use their common sense.

READ: Asec. Mocha Uson on spread of alleged inaccurate photo: It's symbolism

The video animation was released on the same day the Palace abolished the PCO's Strategic Communications Office.

Andanar said it is part of the reorganization to better provide communication strategies to other offices.

CNN Philippines digital producer Ver Marcelo contributed to this report.