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2 seasoned journos join government

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PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed two seasoned journalists who are current officers of the National Press Club (NPC) to government positions, Malacañang announced on Monday, May 22, 2023.

Appointed as Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) is Paul M. Gutierrez, Pinoy Exposé publisher, while designated as the new Director General of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) is Jose ‘Joe’ Torres Jr.

A veteran field correspondent for the Journal Group since 1998 and a columnist since 2005, Gutierrez carries with him more than two decades of experience in the field of journalism and is serving as the NPC secretary at the time of his appointment.

He would be the third former NPC president to be appointed to government service in the last 8 years, after Benny Antiporda and Joel Sy Egco whom Gutierrez would be replacing as PTFoMS executive director.

Created under Administrative Order No. 1 by President Rodrigo Duterte on October 11, 2016, the PTFoMS is principally task to protect the right to life, liberty, and security of all media workers.

While the PTFoMS is under the Office of the President, Gutierrez would be taking his guidance and instructions from Secretary Garafil and Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, co-chairs of the task force, as provided for under AO-1.

Jose ‘Joe’ Torres Jr., the new Director General of the Philippine Information Agency (stock photo).

In his indorsement for Gutierrez, Remulla noted that his “vast experience” in the media sector would greatly contribute in the government’s continuing commitment to the protection of all members of the Fourth Estate.

Gutierrez has long been familiar with the mandate of the task force, having been the NPC’s representative since its inception in 2016.

Torres, on the other hand, is former chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and an NPC director at the time of his appointment. He is also a multi-awarded journalists and respected book author

Torres would be replacing Ramon Cualoping III, who has been the PIA head since 2020.

Other new appointments announced by Malacañang include:

Karlo Fermin Adriano – Assistant Secretary, Department of Finance; Alberto Francisco Pascual – Acting President and Chief Executive Officer and Member of Board of Directors, Philippine Guarantee Corporation; Gilbert Cacatian – Director IV, Department of Labor and Employment; George Almaden – Director IV, Office for Transportation Security, Department of Transportation; Karen Kreez Tangco-Pascasio – Director IV, Governance Commission for Government-owned-or-controlled Corporations; and, Vanessa Grace Samson – Head Executive Assistant, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office.