MANILA, Philippines – Despite being replaced as the Palace spokesperson, Ernesto Abella will remain with the Duterte Cabinet as an undersecretary, this was according to Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) chief Martin Andanar.
In a radio interview, Andanar clarified Abella is not leaving the government after relinquishing his post to Harry Roque as Presidential Spokesperson.
“Si Ernie will stay with the administration. Kung saan siya ilagay ni Presidente Duterte, nasa prerogative na iyon ni Presidente. But I’m sure that hindi naman masi-zero si Ernie,” said Andanar in an interview over DWIZ on Friday.
[Ernie will stay with the administration. Wherever President Duterte puts him remains the prerogative of the president. But I’m sure Ernie will not be empty-handed.]
Duterte replaced Abella as spokesperson after allegedly being dissatisfied with the way he answered queries on Duterte’s threat to cut ties with the European Union (EU).
Early reports claimed the President felt he was not adequately defended by Abella who earlier said the President may have been misinformed on the issue, especially on his threat to expel EU ambassadors from the country.
However, Andanar maintained Abella, who has yet to break his silence on his replacement, has not been removed and will remain as an undersecretary.
“He is still an Undersecretary. And he will still serve under this administration,” said Andanar. “He will have a place under the administration.”