FIRST PALACE BRIEFING. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar conducts his first briefing as acting presidential spokesperson on Monday (March 8, 2022). Andanar replaced former acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles who was appointed chairperson of the Civil Service Commission. (Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar has been named as acting presidential spokesperson.

Andanar’s appointment came after former Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles was appointed and took his oath as chairperson of the Civil Service Commission on Monday.

“I am the acting presidential spokesperson. My deputy spokesperson is Atty. Kris Ablan, my undersecretary sa (at the) PCOO. Both of us will be helping each other–tag team,” he said in his first Palace press briefing on Tuesday.

Asked how long he would remain as Duterte’s mouthpiece, he said he will serve at the pleasure of the President.

“Kung ano man ang atas sa atin ni Pangulong Duterte ay gawin natin (Whatever he will ask me to do, I will do it) because we signed up for his job. It’s an honor to serve the President in his remaining days in office,” he added.

He thanked Nograles for his “effective” role as former acting presidential spokesperson and co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

“He (Nograles) became the voice of calm and reason during this challenging time,” he said.

Andanar said Duterte has yet to appoint a new Cabinet Secretary.

“We will see in the next few days kung ano ang magiging desisyon ni Pangulong Duterte at kung ano ang magiging atas ni Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (what will be the decision of President Duterte and what will be the directive of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea),” he added.

Andanar has been PCOO chief since 2016.

Prior to his appointment, he served as a television news anchor, radio commentator, podcaster, video and audio blogger, and voice-over artist.

Andanar also headed the News5 Everywhere, the online news video and audio portal of TV5.

In October 2021, Andanar said he will again join private media after his term ends.

“Yes, babalik ako sa media (I will return to the [private] media) armed with vigor and wiser, more knowledge, experience sa pag-reform sa (in reforming the) government and with the advocacy of sustainable communication. What is sustainable communication? It’s about being able to communicate and assist all the sustainable projects and activities of the community, the country and even the world,” he said. (PNA)