Panelo is now Duterte's chief legal counsel
MANILA, Philippines – President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Ampatuan lawyer Salvador Panelo as his chief presidential legal counsel.
Ernie Abella is now set to become the next presidential spokesperson.
Abella announced Panelo's new role after the president-elect met with his Cabinet appointees at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) late Wednesday evening, June 15.
Incoming Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar told reporters that this was the plan "since day one."
Duterte had earlier said that Panelo would be the presidential spokesman who would be in charge of the Press Office, which handles media coverage of the president.
This decision, however, was met with criticism from media organizations who frown upon Panelo's lawyering for the Ampatuan family members involved in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, the single deadliest incident involving journalists. – Rappler.com
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As an added bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.