Palace hands off Army’s new StratCom panel chief Robin Padilla

By Azer Parrocha

August 24, 2020, 5:04 pm

<p>Actor Robin Padilla <em>(File photo)</em></p>

Actor Robin Padilla (File photo)

MANILA – Malacañang on Monday declined to comment on the decision of the Philippine Army Multi-Sectoral Advisory Board (PA MSAB) to elect actor Robin Padilla as chairperson of its Strategic Communications (StratCom) Committee.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the board is in the best position to decide on persons to appoint to the committee.

“Pinauubaya ko na po ‘yan sa (Armed Forces of the Philippines) dahil alam naman nila ang kanilang pangangailangan (I leave it to the AFP because they know their needs),” Roque said in a virtual Palace briefing.

He, however, said media personalities play an important role in influencing society.

“Siyempre po hindi natin matatanggi na ang media personalities like Robin Padilla, ay sila po talaga ay kilala ng tao at pinakikinggan ng tao (Of course, we cannot deny that media personalities like Robin Padilla, they are known by and listened to by the people),” Roque said.

Padilla assumed the position as StratComm Committee Chief less than a month after joining the board on July 8.

He succeeded lawyer Alexander Lacson and will be serving alongside StratCom Vice Chairperson Muntinlupa District Rep. Rufino Biazon.

The actor, also a reservist of the Philippine Army, was appointed to the board alongside Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte.

The StratCom is the PA MSAB’s arm responsible for ensuring information dissemination on the Army’s operations.

The current board is led by Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito Plaza and composed of members Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Representatives Rozzano Rufino Biazon, and Ruwel Peter Gonzaga, Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, Mayor Benjamin Magalong, actor and Army reservist Matteo Guidicelli, among others.

Netizens have questioned Padilla’s appointment due to his criminal record as ex-convict and qualifications.

In an interview over ABS-CBN, Army spokesman Col. Ramon Zagala said it was former Army chief, retired Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto who nominated Padilla to the position.

He also noted that the military sees Padilla as a Muslim youth advocate who can dissuade them from joining violent extremist groups. (PNA)