Ex-Presidential Spokesman Abella now DFA Undersecretary

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 23) - Former Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella was appointed Foreign Affairs Undersecretary by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The appointment letter, shared to the media on Thursday, was signed by the President on October 27.

Abella was replaced by then-Kabayan Party-list Representative Harry Roque on October 27.

Abella was a former pastor and social entrepreneur. He assumed the spokesperson role when the President took office on June 30, 2016. In his bass voice and with his calm demeanor, he was instrumental in helping clarify President Duterte's policies and pronouncements.

He crossed paths with then-Davao City Mayor Duterte when he was kidnapped by bandits in 1996. Abella was freed in 24 hours after Duterte sought the help of Moro National Liberation Front leaders.