A Silliman University alumnus makes it to the Duterte Cabinet with the appointment of Ernesto Abella as the Presidential Spokesman recently.
Abella is an educator, social entrepreneur, and a former pastor. He was a kidnap victim who was rescued with the help of now President Rodrigo Duterte, who was then mayor of Davao. Abella was kidnapped in 1996 by ethnic bandits while looking for a piece of property in Monteritz, Davao City.
His companions sought the help of then Mayor Duterte, who in turn asked the assistance of the Moro National Liberation Front leader. In 24 hours, he was once again a free man. Despite what happened two decades ago, Abella said he considers Duterte more a good acquaintance than a friend.
Abella completed his Master in Divinity, major in Biblical Studies, from Silliman University in 1984. He holds a Master in Social Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management and did graduate work in English Literature and Communication Arts at the Ateneo de Manila University.
The other Sillimanian in the Cabinet is Leonor Briones, who is the secretary of the Department of Education. Briones is the chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Silliman University.*RG
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