Marcos Jr. administration

Ex-Enrile aide, Marcos campaigner join Malacañang communications team

Bea Cupin
Ex-Enrile aide, Marcos campaigner join Malacañang communications team

NEW OPS OFFICIALS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. swears into oath Cherbett Karen L. Maralit and Francisco P. Rodriguez III as the new Undersecretary and Assistant Secretary, respectively, of the Office of the Press Secretary.

Office of the Press Secretary

Cherbett Karen Maralit and Francisco Rodriguez III are named to the Office of the Press Secretary

MANILA, Philippines – Just before the year ended, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. appointed two new officials to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).

Marcos himself led the oath-taking of newly-appointed Undersecretary Cherbett Karen Maralit and Assistant Secretary Francisco Rodriguez III.

Maralit, according to the OPS, was once chief of staff of former senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who is now Marcos’ presidential legal counsel.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, worked as head writer of the Marcos 2022 presidential team.

The OPS has seen many changes since Marcos took office in June 2022.

His second executive order revamped the office and reverted it from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) to the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).

Its first secretary, blogger Trixie Cruz-Angeles, resigned just three months into the new administration citing her health. Prior to her resignation, Angeles committed a few gaffes, including one related to Marcos and US President Joe Biden’s bilateral meeting in New York.

She was also left unconfirmed by the Commission on Appointments upon her resignation.

The office has since been headed by lawyer Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil, a communications and media veteran who also once worked for Marcos when the latter was a senator. Garafil, thus far, only serves as officer-in-charge. Marcos has yet to appoint a full-time OPS chief.

Also in late December, the Palace announced former TV presenter Daphne Oseña-Paez as the Palace’s “press briefer.”

Marcos, early on, said he would not be appointing a spokesperson because he would speak to the public and to the media himself. –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.