Now briefing at the Palace: Sonny Coloma
MANILA, Philippines - Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma does not regularly hold press briefings with the Malacañang Press Corps, but this week alone, he led the Tuesday and Thursday media briefings and is expected to continue to do so from now on.
On Thursday, October 24, Coloma said the changes were prompted by a "desire to improve."
"In everything the government does, it desires to continuously improve. Continuous improvement is part of the work ethic of this administration. All areas of governance are being improved and the area of communications is not exempted," he said in Filipino.
"This is just part of our holistic program of good governance, and our drive to bring information [to the public]." He did not elaborate.
Traditionally, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda and his deputy Abigail Valte alternate days throughout the week in holding media briefings at the Palace and speaking for the President. Coloma, on the other hand, has been more involved in managing state-run media and other communication projects of the government.
In the past, Lacierda and Coloma were identified with two power blocs in government: the so-called Balay group led by the Liberal Party (LP) and the so-called Samar group that's associated with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
But the LP and Ochoa have repeatedly said factionalism doesn't exist among the President's men.
Coloma denied the President was displeased with the performance of his spokespersons. He stressed the decision for him to field questions from the Palace media was not a form of damage control since "no calamity took place" with the other spokespersons. He insisted it does not indicate a significant change on the part of the President's communications team.
"The Communications team of our president is one group and I'm part of the group. Right now, we're just working together in our regular meetings with you so we can understand each other on important issues. And if you'd welcome me, I'd also like to engage with you. That's why this is the current arrangement," he said.
Coloma said he would continue to host briefings in the Palace if it would help advance the goal of the President's communications group to better convey the government's message — and absent any violent objections from the media. - Rappler.com