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PIA Press Release
2008/05/19

Dureza named Press Secretary; Esperon is Presidential Adviser on Peace Process

Manila (19 May) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has appointed Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus G. Dureza as press secretary, vice Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye who is moving over to the Monetary Board on July 3.

Dureza, who will assume his new post on June 16, will be replaced as the President's adviser on the Mindanao peace process by recently retired Armed Forces Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr.

Bunye officially announced the new presidential appointments in his weekly column, The View From The Palace.

He said Dureza, who is still in Libya on the invitation of Sail Al Aslam, Libyan leader Col. Khadafi's son, thanked the President "for the honor and privilege of serving her and the country as press secretary."

In his message, Dureza, who is also a former media practitioner, told the President that he considers his appointment as press secretary as a "progression of my work and commitment for peace and development, this time perhaps with a bigger, wider platform. I will give it my best shot. I hope I can fit in the big shoes Sec. Toting Bunye is leaving behind with distinction."

Aside from his post as the President's adviser on the peace process, Dureza is also the Philippine signing minister to the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), and Mindanao Super Region Development Champion.

A lawyer, the incoming press secretary also served as official spokesman of then President Fidel V. Ramos for two years (1998-2000); and as spokesman of the House of Representatives for five years (1987-1989; 1992-1995).

Bunye earlier revealed that he had recommended to the President Malacañang "insiders" to fill the posts of press secretary and Cabinet secretary to shorten the learning curve.

The President has earlier tapped Cabinet Secretary Ricardo Saludo as chairman of the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

A two-term congressman of the first district of Davao City (1987-1989; 1992-1995), Dureza was at the same time director of the governing board of the Philippine Coconut Authority in1989-1992.

He would later become chairman of the Mindanao Economic Development Council (1998); Presidential Assistant for Mindanao (1998); chairman of the Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the MILF, Feb. 2001-May 2003; and chairman of the Mindanao Economic Development Council, 2001–January 2006.

A graduate of Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) from the Ateneo de Davao University in 1967, Dureza placed 10th in the Philippine Bar Examinations (1973). He was a "Datu Bago Awardee," the highest award given to a Davaoeño; and had received the Presidential Award of Merit from former President Fidel V. Ramos in June 1998.

Born on 24 December 1947 in Guimbal, Iloilo City, Dureza started out as correspondent of Manila Times until 1972; editor of the Mindanao Times in Davao City, 1972 to 1987; and correspondent of Manila Bulletin until 1987. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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