President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has named a preacher and Davao City-based columnist as his new presidential spokesperson, his camp said early Tuesday, June 14.
Ernie Abella is “taking on the job as presidential spokesperson”, said Peter Lavina, who also announced that the incoming chief executive named three more members of his Cabinet.
“(Abella) is a preacher and writes a column in Davao. He was one of the best writers to defend Duterte in social media during the black propaganda attacks during the election,” Lavina said in a post on Facebook.
It was not clear, however, whether Abella would replace lawyer Salvador Panelo or work in tandem with him.
Panelo had been criticized in social media recently over a supposed traffic row, but Panelo dismissed the incident.
Meanwhile, Lavina said other new Cabinet appointees were:
– Wanda Tulfo Teo as Tourism Secretary
– Ramon Lopez as Trade and Industry Secretary
– Dr. Pauline Jean Ubial as Health Secretary
“President Duterte decided again to pick highly qualified insiders he has worked with in the past,” Lavina said.
He said Teo was “a long-time player in the tourism sector in Mindanao”. State-run Philippines News Agency (PNA) said she was also a sister of columnist Ramon Tulfo.
Lavina said Lopez “partnered with the local government in bringing GoNegosyo to Davao City” which, PNA said, he also headed.
Meanwhile, Ubial served in the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 11.