Duterte: Panelo stays; Andanar is communications chief

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2016 01:36 AM

Composite picture of Martin Andanar and Salvador Panelo

TV host Martin Andanar will be Palace Communications chief

DAVAO CITY - President-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he will not change his mind on designating lawyer Salvador Panelo as his spokesman.

"Many of the guys there do not like him. Sal Panelo has been a good friend of mine for the longest time. He is honest, he can talk and maybe he is also abrasive in his language but that is the nature of the person," Duterte said in a press conference.

Doubts as to whether Panelo would ultimately serve as Duterte's spokesperson surfaced when the president-elect said in an earlier interview that the lawyer would only work for him temporarily.

Families of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre questioned Duterte's choice for spokesperson, as Panelo lawyered for the Ampatuans, the main suspects in the gruesome 2009 killings.

Meanwhile, Duterte also revealed more names of people he would place in various government posts.

Duterte said he would appoint TV5 host Martin Andanar as the new chief of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), replacing Herminio 'Sonny' Coloma.

Under PCOO are government information agencies such as PTV4, Philippine Information Agency, and Radyo ng Bayan.

Christopher Go

Duterte's executive assistant, Christopher Go, will be appointed chief of the Presidential Management Staff.

Joel Maglunsod, former Anakpawis party-list representative and a leader of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), will serve as undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Duterte earlier offered the DOLE portfolio to the NDF, but later appointed Silvestre Bello III, chief negotiator for the NDF talks, as secretary.

Eduardo del Rosario, who once headed the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, will be appointed as undersecretary for Civil Veterans and Reserve Affairs of the Department of National Defense.

Duterte said he is having a hard time filling in other vacancies. He said he wants to appoint the best person for the job.

"There are many more agencies and offices that I have to fill out, just give me time," he said.

"It is not easy to review every night, I pore over the qualifications just to make sure na di ako mapahiya and end up appointing a son of a b****."