Escudero, Estrada prefer Coloma as Palace’s spokesman
MANILA, Philippines—Two senators have favored Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma to be the spokesman of Malacañang because of his “sobering,” “calm” and “rational” disposition when responding questions on national issues.
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who was defending the proposed budget of the Presidential Communications Operation Office being headed by Coloma, admitted that he liked Coloma more especially when Malacañang was faced with the problems brought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).
“Sa totoo lang po Mr. President, your honor, mas gusto kong nakikita ang mukha ni Secretary Coloma, lalo nang mga panahong ‘yun (The truth Mr. President, your honor, is that I’d prefer to see the face of Secretary Coloma, especially during those times) because he always provided a sobering, calm and rational (point),” Escudero said, responding to queries of Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
It was Estrada who first brought up the issue of Coloma sharing the briefing time with other spokespersons Edwin Lacierda and Abigail Valte, and Secretary Ricky Carandang, head of the Presidential Communication Development and Strategic Planning Office.
Estrada, who was interpellating the budget of Coloma’s office, inquired if the Palace spokesmen had rifts noting the sudden absence of some of the spokesmen and then the sudden appearance of Coloma in the picture.
“Mr. President, tungkol po sa away, wala daw po silang aaminin (Mr. President, with regards to rifts, they won’t admit anything),” Escudero said.
Estrada admitted that even he was in favor of President Aquino’s decision to designate Coloma as a spokesman. He then asked Escudero if he also agreed with him.
“Sang-ayon Mr. President, you Honor. Ang lamang lang ni Secretary Lacierda, si Secretary Carandang mas maputi lang sila ng konti kay Secretary Coloma (I agree Mr. President, your Honor. The advantage of Secretary Lacierda and Secretary Carandang is that they have little bit of a fairer skin than Secretary Coloma),” Escudero said, which elicited laughter from the gallery.
Estrada also inquired if it was true that a Palace spokesman, apparently referring to Laciderda, was banned from talking after engaging in a word-war with former Senator Joker Arroyo.
Coloma through Escudero said he did not inquire to the “motivation” and “reasons” of the President’s decision.
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