2023 May 23
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has named journalists Paulino Gutierrez and Jose Torres Jr. as respective heads of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Malacañang announced Tuesday.
Marcos signed Gutierrez and Torres’ appointment papers on March 19, based on a list of new presidential appointees released by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
Prior to their new appointments, Gutierrez and Torres both held a position at the National Press Club, serving as secretary and director, respectively.
Gutierrez, holding a rank of Undersecretary, replaced former PTFoMs executive director Joel Sy-Egco who was appointed under the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte.
On Oct. 11, 2016, Duterte signed Administrative Order (AO) 1, creating the PTFoMS to make the Philippines a safer place for media workers.
PTFoMS, by virtue of AO 1, is mandated to protect the life, liberty and security of media workers in the country.
Torres succeeded PIA Ramon Cualoping who tendered his resignation on April 4, 2023.
Torres vowed to strengthen PIA’s mission of disseminating information about government programs, projects and services to the Filipino public.
“I am grateful to President Marcos for the opportunity and the privilege to serve the country in these trying times of misinformation and disinformation,” he said in a statement.
The PIA serves as the country’s information arm, with a network spanning 16 regional offices and 78 provincial information centers.
The agency’s mandate is to empower Filipinos by providing them with accurate and timely information, enabling them to actively participate in the nation’s democratic processes.
Torres began his career as writer for the alternative news service Philippine News and Features in the late 1980s. He later worked for various media outlets both in the Philippines and abroad
He covered Pope Francis’ trips to Asia in recent years as a member of the Vatican Accredited Media Personnel.
Marcos also tapped Alberto Francisco Pascual as acting president and chief executive officer of the Philippine Guarantee Corporation.
Pascual will also serve as member of the agency’s Board of Directors, based on his details from the PCO.
Marcos also named Karlo Fermin Adriano as Finance Assistant Secretary and Vanessa Grace Samson as head executive assistant of the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office.
The other new presidential appointees who will be holding the rank of Director IV are Gilbert Cacatian (Department of Labor and Employment), George Almaden (Department of Transportation’s Office for Transportation Security), and Karen Kreez Tangco-Pascasio (Governance Commission for Government-owned or -Controlled Corporation)
Their appointment papers were also signed on March 19.
Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos (PNA)