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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Panelo’s appointment as spokesman criticized

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CEBU CITY—Maribojoc, Bohol Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr. said presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte was sensitive to public sentiment and might not push through with the appointment of some of his chosen Cabinet members.

Evasco, Duterte’s campaign manager, made the statement when asked by The Standard about the appointment of Salvador Panelo, who served as a lawyer of the Ampatuan clan over the infamous Maguindanao massacre, as presidential spokesman.

He made his statement even as the National Press Club of the Philippines on Thursday called on Duterte to reconsider the appointment of his lawyer Panelo as his spokesman.

Group president Paul Gutierrez reminded Duterte that Panelo was the lawyer of the members of the Ampatuan clan, the principal suspects in the Maguindanao massacre case that took the lives of 58 people, including 32 journalists, on Nov. 23, 2009.

Journalists would find it difficult working with Panelo, Gutierrez said.

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“Definitely, the members of the press would find it hard to interact and work with a press secretary whose main client were the suspects in the wholesale murder of the members of the press that has outraged the entire world,” he said.

During a press conference at the Wellcome Hotel in Cebu City, Evasco also said he had not been offered the post of secretary of the Interior Department.

Evasco was a rebel priest who was later elected mayor of Maribojoc town in Bohol.

He said he would like to thank the Cebuanos for giving Duterte more than a million votes especially in Cebu City, where Liberal Party mayoral candidate Tomas Osmeña dumped LP standard bearer Manuel Roxas II for Duterte. 

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