MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has named James Arandila Layug, a former official of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Malacañang released a copy of Layug’s appointment paper on Thursday night.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles also confirmed Layug’s appointment.

“Mr. James Layug, formerly with the DICT is named Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture,” she said in a press statement.

Layug used to head the DICT’s Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center, an agency tasked to lead the government’s efforts in the fight against cybercrimes, especially those victimizing children.

He was also director of the Department of National Defense’s (DND) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Installations and Self-Reliant Defense Posture.

Before joining the DND, Layug was a ranking official of the Bureau of Customs.

Layug, a former Magdalo member, is also president of the Reform Party, which is composed mostly of reformist soldiers.

He is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1995.

Layug will be replacing Federico Laciste Jr.

Meanwhile, Marcos also appointed Geraldine Marie Berberabe-Martinez and Gideon De Villa Mortel as members of the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).

Berberabe-Martinez will be replacing Michael Cloribel while Mortel will be replacing Marites Doral.

Berberabe-Martinez used to be a member of the Government Service Insurance System Board of Trustees.

Mortel, a lawyer, is a lecturer at the Development Academy of the Philippines. (PNA)