PNoy wants Coloma as Palace lead spokesman?
MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino wants Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office to be his lead spokesman.
A reliable source told The STAR yesterday that Aquino told Secretaries Edwin Lacierda, Ricky Carandang and Undersecretary Abigail Valte during a meeting last week that Coloma would be taking over.
“He just told them (Lacierda et al) that from now on, Secretary Sonny will be the lead (spokesman),” the unimpeachable source said.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Valte denied that Aquino had ordered a new setup in the Presidential Communications Group, concurring with Lacierda that it was Coloma who asked that he be accommodated as an alternate to their daily tasks.
“Actually, it was not the President,” she said.
“In fact, when Secretary Sonny texted us and volunteered to go on rotation. We told the President: ‘Sir, Secretary Sonny volunteered. And he said okay, at least you have time off.’”
Her boss, Lacierda, said the same thing, texting Palace reporters that it was “Coloma (who) asked if he can do alternate briefings” to which they agreed, “since we’ve been doing this for more than three years.”
Coloma said: “I confirm that I initiated discussions with Secretary Lacierda and Undersecretary Valte regarding the schedule of press briefings and my participation in such briefings.
“All of our actions are in accordance with the President’s guidance and direction. We work together in endeavoring to communicate to our people the President’s key programs and messages in the most effective manner. We are just one communications team of the President, and I form part of that group.”
He and his colleagues have agreed that he can now join the regular briefings for the media, Coloma said.
Another source said Aquino was particularly piqued at how Lacierda picked a word war with former senator Joker Arroyo, who called for the abolition of the Disbursement Acceleration Program.
Lacierda and Valte expressed appreciation for Coloma’s offer to help, as this would allow them to focus on their other tasks apart from holding daily briefings for the Malacañang Press Corps.
“We appreciate very much that Secretary Sonny has volunteered to at least go on rotation or to do alternate briefings because the responsibility is very heavy, where he can at least share the responsibilities also with us,” Valte said.