MANILA – The Presidential Communications Operations Office committed a booboo on Monday when it distributed to media outlets the transcript of a hoax interview involving an impersonator of President Rodrigo Duterte aired on dzRH on the same day.
The impersonator, known in the show as “President Lodi”, phoned in to talk to Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go while he was being interviewed by broadcaster Elpidio “Deo” Macalama and Atty. Cherryl Adami-Molina.
Go laughed and seemed puzzled when President Lodi – who mimicked the voice of Duterte – greeted him.
Then President Lodi went on to endorse Go for a candidacy to the Senate by saying he was a big help to the Duterte administration, and a “man of principle and integrity”.
Go went along and thanked President Lodi, saying they both had a heart for the masses.
Asked by Macalma and Adami-Molina if this meant President Lodi was throwing his support behind Go in the 2019 senatorial elections, the impersonator replied, “Itinaas ko na ang kamay niyan (I have already raised his hand).”
Go brushed it aside, saying, “Janitor lang muna ako. ‘Wag muna (natin) pag-usapan ‘yung pagka-senador (I’d rather remain a janitor. Let’s not talk about a senatorial bid just yet),” adding that he preferred to be an “all-around utility man” who could help (“pwedeng makatulong”).
Watch dzRH’s interview below. The phone conversation between Go and Duterte’s impersonator begins at around the 11-minute mark.
The radio station subsequently reported that the PCOO and the Palace’s News and Information Bureau (NIB) sent a transcript of the interview to the media.
The transcript indicated that what transpired was an “interview with President Rodrigo Duterte by Deo Macalma/Rica Herra/Isyu/DZRH March 19, 2018/9:21 – 9:27 A.M.”
NIB’s Transcription Section then emailed reporters an erratum, according to dzRH. It read, “The transcription titled Interview with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte by Deo Macalma and Rica Herrera over DZRH on March 19, 2018 should read, Interview with Impersonator of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. Apologies for the error-NIB Transcription Section.”
The dzRH said this was not the first time President Lodi had people fooled. One of their news producers, when newly hired, wrote a story based on an interview with the impersonator, “only to be advised later that it was just Lodi, the fake Duterte.”