President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he would announce his next press secretary next week from a shortlist of three, saying he would pick one that is a friend of the press and an experienced media practitioner.
The President also reappointed Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Ivan John Uy and Commission on Elections commissioner Nelson Celis after they were bypassed by the Commission on Appointments.
Mr. Marcos also tapped lawyer Ernesto Maceda Jr. as Comelec commissioner for a term that will expire on Feb. 2, 2029.
“I want someone who knows messaging well to get important information across,” Marcos said, after Trixie Cruz-Angeles resigned from the post early this week citing health issues.
“We are down to a shortlist of three. So, we’re trimming it down,” he said but declined to name the three people on the shortlist.
Speculation on social media focused on several candidates for the job, including Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. director Gilbert Remulla, lawyer Michael Toledo, and filmmaker Paul Soriano.
Of the four, Toledo, Remulla and Chavez were former media practitioners.
Remulla was a former reporter of ABS-CBN, Toledo was a former news anchor of TV-5, while Chavez was a former station manager of dzRH.
Toledo and Remulla seemed willing to join the Cabinet 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.”
He is the current Government and Public Affairs head of the Manny Pangilinan-led MPIC.
Remulla at present is a director of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).
“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 that I’m being considered, and I serve at the pleasure of the President,” he said.
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.
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.
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 is also the nephew of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos through her first cousin, director Gines Soriano.