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PBBM appoints journalists to lead PTFoMS and PIA

Paulino Gutierrez and Jose Torres Jr., two journalists, have been appointed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to lead the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), respectively. Malacanang announced on Tuesday.

On March 19, Marcos authorized the appointment of Gutierrez and Torres by a list of recent presidential appointees made public by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

Gutierrez and Torres formerly had positions at the National Press Club, where they worked as director and secretary, respectively.

Joel Sy-Egco, the former executive director of PTFoMs appointed during the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte, was replaced by Gutierrez, who holds the position of Undersecretary.

Duterte signed Administrative Order (AO) 1 on October 11, 2016, establishing the PTFoMS to make the Philippines a safer place for journalists.

By virtue of AO 1, PTFoMS is responsible for safeguarding the safety, liberty, and well-being of all national media workers.

Ramon Cualoping, the PIA who submitted his resignation on April 4, 2023, was replaced by Torres.

Torres committed to furthering PIA’s goal of informing the Filipino people about government initiatives, projects, and services.

He added, “I am grateful to President Marcos for the chance and privilege to serve the country in these trying times of misinformation and disinformation.”

The PIA acts as the government’s information arm with a network of 78 provincial information centers and 16 regional offices.

The agency aims to enable Filipinos to participate actively in democratic processes by empowering them with accurate and timely information.

In the late 1980s, Torres started his writing career for the alternative news outlet Philippine News and Features. Later, he worked for several media organizations both domestically and overseas.

As a member of the Vatican Accredited Media Personnel, he covered Pope Francis’ journeys to Asia in recent years.

additional nominees

Marcos chose Alberto Francisco Pascual to serve as the Philippine Guarantee Corporation’s interim president and CEO.

According to the information he received from the PCO, Pascual will also be a member of the agency’s Board of Directors.

Additionally, Marcos appointed Vanessa Grace Samson as the head executive assistant of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office and Karlo Fermin Adriano as the assistant secretary for finance.

Gilbert Cacatian (Department of Labor and Employment), George Almaden (Office for Transportation Security, Department of Transportation), and Karen Kreez Tangco-Pascasio (Governance Commission for Government-owned or -Controlled Corporation) are the other newly appointed presidential appointees who will hold the rank of Director IV.

Additionally, on March 19, their appointment documents were signed.

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