MANILA, Philippines -- Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita is the new spokesman of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Ermita himself confirmed the appointment, which Arroyo had hinted at in a conversation with reporters in Panglao, Bohol, Tuesday night.
He will remain executive secretary.
Interviewed through phone patch by Malacañang reporters because he had cancelled his regular Wednesday press briefing, Ermita said Arroyo, who is in Butuan, called him up around 2 p.m. to inform him of the appointment and that he accepted.
?It took me by surprise because I never thought the President had that in mind," Ermita said when asked for his reaction.
"What weighed in...is the fact that she knows I've been exposed to all of you through our weekly press conference," he added. "This indicates that the President thought I could be helpful or an addition to the communications program" of the administration.
Arroyo Tuesday night said she was "thinking of" naming Ermita as her new spokesman because of his weekly news briefings.
Ermita sad he thanked Arroyo for her confidence in him.