Who Is Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil, Marcos' New Presidential Communications Secretary?
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has officially appointed journalist-turned-lawyer Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil as the secretary of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), the agency confirmed on Tuesday, January 10. Garafil, who had previously been the officer-in-charge, shared the news of her oath-taking on the same day.
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Who Is Atty. Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil?
Garafil finished her Communication Arts degree in 1992 from the University of Santo Tomas, where she would also study law. She holds a master's degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College, as well. The PCO head is also a Philippine Air Force reservist, attaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
Before joining the government, Garafil was once a journalist who wrote for publications like Malaya, The Philippine Daily Globe, and the Associated Press, among others. Eventually, she would end up working as a service director of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Rules, a prosecutor of the Department of Justice, and a state solicitor at the Office of the Solicitor General.
The lawyer had resigned from her position as chairperson of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to join Marcos' PCO. She, however, has long been familiar with the PCO for a while now. During the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, she was the Media Director and Public Relations Officer for the office.
The agency has been caught in a state of flux since the resignation of former press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles in early October 2022. Some of the names that had been previously attached to the vacated secretary post include Mike Toledo and, at one point, director Paul Soriano. There had been increasing speculation that Garafil would soon be named press secretary, as well.