‘Abella still Presidential Spokesperson’ – assistant
Undersecretary Ernesto Abella remains to be the Presidential Spokesperson despite reports that he would soon be replaced, his assistant said on Friday.
“He is still the Presidential Spokesperson. He is carrying out his mandate,” Assistant to the Presidential Spokesman China Jocson said during a Palace briefing.
Abella was absent during the briefing to attend to “pressing matters,” Jocson said.
“I just got a call an hour before the press briefing. He intended to be here today. It was an immediate schedule that he could not probably refuse,” she said.
“As far as the office is informed, there are pressing matters that Spokesperson Ernesto Abella has to attend at the moment,” she added.
Jocson said there was nothing unusual on Abellas’s absence on the briefing.
“He is not here right now and it is not unusual. I have done several briefings on his behalf. So nothing unusual with the Presidential Spokesperson’s absence today,” she noted.
Asked whether Abella would join President Rodrigo Duterte in his Japan trip next week, Jocson said, “It is not yet final whether he will go to Japan or not.”
“He may or may not. But currently, he has to attend to more pressing matters,” she also said.
There were reports that Kabayan Party-list Rep. Harry Roque is being offered the position of presidential spokesperson.
Duterte and Roque are set to meet Friday night in Davao City to celebrate the lawmaker’s birthday.
But Jocson insisted: “As of this moment, he is still Presidential Spokesperson. Since he is in town, you may hear from him next week, he may still give briefings, if he is in town, if he doesn’t push through with the trip, he may still give briefings next week.” /kga
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