MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has appointed veteran journalist and former ABS-CBN News Online senior editor Jose Torres Jr. as the new director-general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Malacañang said on Tuesday.
A former chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Torres succeeded Ramon Cualoping who resigned from his post last month.
The PIA said Torres' appointment was seen to bring "a wealth of experience and expertise" in the agency.
The veteran journalist expressed his gratitude to Marcos.
“I am grateful to President Marcos for the opportunity and the privilege to serve the country in these trying times of misinformation and disinformation,” he said.
Torres won a National Book Award for his book "Into The Mountain: Hostaged by the Abu Sayyaf" in 2001 and was awarded 3rd Prize in the Jaime V Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism in 2004 for his piece "The Making of a Mindanao Mafia", published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.
He worked as a sub-editor for Saudi Gazette, the national newspaper of Saudi Arabia, as an investigative reporter for the now-defunct Isyu newsmagazine, and wrote for The Manila Times, The Philippine Post, and The Sunday Paper.
He worked as senior editor of ABS-CBN News Online from 2001 to 2005 before moving to GMA News Online. He also helped set up the online platform of Remate, a news tabloid, in 2009.
In 2010, he became the managing editor of the Union of Catholic Asian News in Thailand and was also a member of Radio Veritas Asia's editorial board in 2019. He later on became the editor-at-large for LiCAS.news, a Church news platform in Bangkok.
Torres earned his Philosophy degree at the University of Santo Tomas and had Theology units at the Ateneo de Manila University.
In 2012, Torres earned his diploma in multimedia journalism from the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo.
Torres has been actively involved in the journalism community, having served as chairman of the Philippine Center for Photojournalism and currently holding a board member position at the National Press Club of the Philippines.