Panelo named as Duterte's new spokesman: aide
President Rodrigo Duterte has named Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo as the concurrent spokesperson, his close aide said on Thursday.
In a text message to reporters, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said Panelo's appointment as a spokesperson was effective Thursday.
"As of now, the President said Secretary Panelo is the concurrent Presidential Legal Counsel and at the same time Spokes(man)," he told reporters in Bali, Indonesia where he has been accompanying Duterte in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Leaders' Gathering.
Asked earlier in the day if he has tendered his resignation following Go's announcement that he would be replaced by Panelo, Roque, who has been on leave attending a conference in China, said, "let's wait for next week."
Panelo confirmed that Duterte talked to him regarding his concurrent appointment.
He said that being a spokesperson is not new to him, recalling that since Day 1 of Duterte's presidential campaign, "I was already his spokesperson."
"And Day 1 when he assumed presidency I was also his spokesperson. In fact, the executive order creating this office, my present position states that I am the spokesperson of the President. So actually, there's no change, the only difference I think would be I would be more visible this time," he told reporters in Bali.
"Because as Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, I was really speaking for the President on matters of national sensitive issues that require my articulation of thoughts and ideas of the President," he added.
Duterte apparently became irked with Roque when in a press conference last week, the outgoing spokesperson lamented that he was kept in the dark of the President's checkup in a hospital after skipping an official schedule.
Roque has said that he felt that he was not an effective spokesman as he was weighing his options, including the possibility of running for the Senate.
Duterte, in a press conference on Tuesday, said he did not need to inform Roque everything, including his medical checkup last week.
"There are things which are limited to the immediate members of the family...But the fact of the matter is that he (Roque) did not ask us. And maybe at that time, I was not in a position to tell him also," he has said. Celerina Monte/DMS