Marcos appoints journalist Jose Torres Jr. as new PIA chief

At a glance

  • President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. named journalist Jose Torres Jr. as the new director general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)

  • Torres will replace resigned PIA chief Mon Cualoping

  • The appointment was announced by the Malacañang on Tuesday, May 23

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has appointed journalist and two-time National Book Award recipient Jose Torres Jr. as the new director general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

(Photo courtesy of PCO and PIA)

Torres will replace resigned PIA chief Mon Cualoping, whose resignation was accepted by Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil on Monday, May 22.

According to the PIA, the appointment of Torres is expected to strengthen PIA’s mission of disseminating information about government programs, projects, and services to the Filipino public.

“I am grateful to President Marcos for the opportunity and the privilege to serve the country in these trying times of misinformation and disinformation,” said Torres, who has been covering Pope Francis’s trips to Asia in recent years as a member of the Vatican Accredited Media Personnel.

Torres started his career as a writer for the alternative news service Philippine News and Features in the late 1980s.

In the early 1990s, his groundbreaking reporting, later published into the book “Into the Mountain: Hostaged by the Abu Sayyaf,” shed light on the activities of the notorious bandit group in the southern Philippines.

He served as a sub-editor for Saudi Gazette, the national newspaper of Saudi Arabia, as an investigative reporter for the now-defunct Isyu newsmagazine, and wrote for The Manila Times, The Philippine Post, and The Sunday Paper.

Torres also joined ABS-CBN’s online platform in 2001, GMA News’s online in 2005, and the online version of the tabloid Remate in 2009.

In 2010, he joined the Bangkok-based Union of Catholic Asian News as its managing editor. He later became editor-at-large for, a Church news agency based in Bangkok, and served as member of the editorial board of Radio Veritas Asia in 2018.

Torres has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including a citation in the 2004 International Tolerance Prize for his article on Filipino Muslims titled "Troubled Return of the Faithful.” His piece "The Making of a Mindanao Mafia" was awarded 3rd Prize in the Jaime V Ongpin Awards for Excellence in Journalism in 2004.

Torres has also served as chairman of the Philippine Center for Photojournalism. He is currently a member of the board of directors of  the National Press Club of the Philippines.

Educated in Philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas, he later took up units of Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University. Torres honed his journalistic skills by obtaining a diploma in multimedia journalism from the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism in 2012.

Torres was among the new appointees of Marcos bared by PCO on Tuesday.

The PIA serves as the country's primary information arm, with a network spanning 16 regional offices and 78 provincial information centers.

The agency’s mandate is to empower Filipinos by providing them with accurate and timely information, enabling them to actively participate in the nation’s democratic processes.