‘Kala ko may sakit?’: Cruz-Angeles spotted at arts fest after quitting OPS for ‘health reasons’

October 7, 2022 - 4:42 PM
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Trixie Cruz Angeles_Baguio
Screengrab of former press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles at Baguio City for the 12th Tam-awan International Arts Festival. (Philstar.com/Kathleen Llemit via Facebook)

A public appearance of former press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles at an event at Baguio earned questions about the reason for her resignation.

News5 reported that the vlogger-lawyer was spotted as a guest of honor at the 12th Tam-awan International Arts Festival (TIAF) in the Tam-awan Village on Thursday.

On the same day she handed in her resignation as head of the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS), Cruz-Angeles posted on her Facebook page that she will go on a “road trip” the day after.

“Maybe I’ll see you smile,” she added with a smiling emoji.

Trixie Cruz-Angeles_road trip
(Screengrab by Interaksyon from Facebook/trixie.cruzangeles)

In an interview, Cruz-Angeles said she regularly attends the arts festival, adding that it is “her happy place.”

She was a commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts‘s Subcommission on Cultural Heritage.

When asked if the former Malacañang official will return to the NCCA, she answered, “We will see.”

Cruz-Angeles was also asked about her plans, now that she has resigned from her position.

“None. None right now. ‘Di ba part of the, ano… you still live in the moment. And this is a good thing, living in the moment,” she answered.

The five-day arts festival is spearheaded by Chanum Foundation and is in partnership with the NCCA.

For 12 years, the TIAF has offered workshops to various schools in the region, as well as talks aimed at educating and enlightening artists and the public on laws, customs and beliefs in the country and the international community.

The celebration is slated until October 9.

Meanwhile, some Filipinos questioned Cruz-Angeles’ public appearance, who recalled that she tendered her resignation earlier this week due to “health reasons.”

“Kala ko ba health problems kaya nag-resign. Bat nag-liwaliw,” a Facebook user wondered.

“Kala ko may sakit,” another online user wrote.

“May sakit daw? Dental issues?” a different Pinoy commented with a crying face emoji.

“Kala ko ba nag resigned dahil sa [kalusugan]?” questioned another Facebook user.

Cruz-Angeles resigned on Tuesday morning, with an effectivity at the “end of business hours” that day.

“I tendered my resignation this morning, effective end of business hours today. Due to health reasons. It was a pleasure working with you,” she said in a statement.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevara confirmed Cruz-Angeles’ resignation and said it was due to “medical conditions.”

Rumors about Cruz-Angeles quitting her post circulated after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr‘s weeklong working visit to the United States.

The Philippine News Agency said he gave her a “thank you note” following her resignation.

A columnist claimed that Cruz-Angeles had encountered newly appointed Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin in the Supreme Court when she and her partner were slapped with a three-year suspension in 2016.

A column in the Manila Times said that Bersamin “was one of the Supreme Court justices who concurred with the decision to suspend her in 2016 for violating Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.”

Meanwhile, Marcos said that there are three candidates for the press secretary post and that he may announce it next week.

However, he refused to give their names as it “wouldn’t be fair to them.”

“We are whittling it down. Malapit na ‘yan,” Marcos said.

According to the president, the next press secretary should be a friend of the media.

“Obviously, you need somebody who is very experienced in the… probably a journalist or is a media practitioner. ‘Yun naman ang kailangan,” the chief executive said.

“‘Yung marunong mag-messaging para ‘yung mga gusto naming palabasin, talagang lumalabas. That’s what’s important — that we get the information, the messaging across,” Marcos added.

Previous reports said that Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. head of government relations Mike Toledo, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation director Gilbert Remulla are being considered.

As of Friday, it was reported that lawyer Cheloy Garafil accepted the post as undersecretary and officer-in-charge of the OPS.

She used to be the chairperson of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Press Secretary 101

The press secretary heads the OPS tasked to serve as the communications arm of the administration.

It has the power to pronounce, on behalf of the president, matters pertaining to his actions, policies, programs, official activities and accomplishments.

The office was reorganized from the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), established under the Aquino administration in 2010.

PCOO replaced the original OPS created in the first Aquino administration in 1986.

According to late former president Cory Aquino‘s memorandum, a press secretary has the following functions:

  • To act as the official spokesman of the President
  • To keep track of the plans, programs and activities of the President
  • To maintain liaison and close coordination with government ministries and agencies involved in preparing and planning the activities of the President
  • To coordinate with the various media, both local and foreign, in disseminating information regarding the affairs of the President
  • To provide coverage and documentation particularly presidential activities

The post was created with the acknowledgment of Filipinos’ “right to be informed of the activities, policies and directions of their government.”