Four names have been floated as the possible next Press Secretary under the Marcos administration, but only two of them said Wednesday they were open to the position vacated by lawyer-vlogger Trixie Cruz-Angeles.
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) executive Mike Toledo, former Cavite congressman Gilbert Remulla, Department of Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, and movie director Paul Soriano were among the names floated to succeed Angeles, who resigned Tuesday citing health reasons.
Toledo and Remulla seemed willing to join the Cabinet of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., while Chavez and Soriano said there were better candidates than them.
A former Press Secretary for then-President Joseph Estrada, Toledo said he was not aware of any shortlist for the position “but if I am indeed in the shortlist, then I consider it to be an honor in itself.”
As the first person rumored to replace Angeles, Toledo—a lawyer and former television host—said he was “not in a position” to dwell on the offer but noted he would not reject the opportunity to serve.
“Who am I to reject the offer? I will be humbled, it will be an honor and privilege to serve under the Marcos administration,” added the current Government and Public Affairs head of Manny Pangilinan-led MPIC.
A former broadcast journalist before becoming a lawmaker, Remulla told reporters he is currently enjoying his role as director of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).
He said he was flattered that he was being considered as the next Press Secretary—incidentally, since his older brother, Crispin “Boying” Remulla, is the current Justice Secretary.
“I’m in a process of deep discernment. I did not apply. However, I am at PAGCOR, enjoying and concentrating on my role here as a director. I’m flattered I’m being considered, and I serve at the pleasure of the President,” said Gilbert Remulla, who was appointed to the board of the gaming regulator last August.
Also a brother of Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, Gilbert represented Cavite’s second district in Congress from 2001 to 2007.
Chavez, in a phone interview with reporters, admitted he was “being considered” as Press Secretary but refused to give further details.
He said he is “not interested” to take on the job since his field of specialty is in the rail sector for the DoTr.
Chavez said he needed more time to think about the offer, adding that he will discuss the matter with Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.
As the former chief of staff of presidential candidate and former Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, Chavez also acknowledged there are many “competent” candidates for Press Secretary.
“I think there are many competent candidates who can do the job better. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and professionally, they’re more qualified than me,” he said.
The former radio anchor named Remulla and Toledo as other names being considered for the post.
Meanwhile, Soriano earlier confirmed he was also considered as Press Secretary but admitted he prefers working behind the scenes.
The husband of celebrity host Toni Gonzaga, Soriano directed the President’s first State of the Nation Address. He is also the nephew of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos through her first cousin, director Gines Soriano.
“Yes, there was a conversation but I feel that the position needs more qualified people to help the President,” Soriano told ABS-CBN News.
“I can be of better service behind the scenes working with the President’s media and communications team,” added the director, who directed videos of Mr. Marcos’ electoral campaign while his wife often hosted and performed during the eventual Chief Executive’s rallies across the country.
Aside from directing the President’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA), he was also a creative consultant in Mr. Marcos’ Inaugural set-up.
“I know my strengths; I know what I can give him. I am better utilized In the background than be in front of the camera,” Soriano said. “At the end of the day, my main mandate is to send out the message that we have a hardworking leader that sadly people don’t see.”
Soriano is currently working on the first 100 days media campaign for Mr. Marcos. “As I told the President this morning, if there’s a need for me to help, I will be there in whatever capacity. On the sidelines, I’ve been supporting him from the start, and I will continue to do that. He can count on us.”
On Tuesday, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara expressed hope that a new press secretary would be named in the “near future.”