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Ernesto "Ernie" Corpuz Abella is a Filipino businessman, writer, former evangelist, and former Presidential Spokesperson for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.[2] Prior to his appointment, Abella was an executive with a Davao City-based agricultural products manufacturer and a local cooperative which he co-founded. He also established a school in Davao and also worked as a columnist for local newspaper Sun.Star Davao.[3][4]

Ernesto Abella
Ernesto Abella - 2016 (cropped).jpg
Abella in July 2016
Undersecretary for Strategic Communications and Research
Department of Foreign Affairs[1]
Assumed office
November 23, 2017
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Presidential Spokesperson
In office
June 30, 2016 – October 30, 2017
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
DeputyMarie Banaag
China Jocson
Preceded byEdwin Lacierda
Succeeded byHarry Roque
Personal details
Ernesto Corpuz Abella

Davao City, Philippines
ResidenceDavao City
Tagaytay, Cavite
Alma materAteneo de Davao University
Silliman University
Asian Institute of Management
OccupationBusinessman, Writer

On October 27, 2017, Abella was replaced by Harry Roque, a representative of Kabayan party-list group as presidential spokesperson, citing personal reasons.[5] Abella was subsequently appointed as Undersecretary for Strategic Communications and Research at the Department of Foreign Affairs on November 23, 2017.[1]


Abella finished high school at the Ateneo de Davao University in 1964. In 1968, he graduated with a BA in pre-medicine from the same university. In 1980, he pursued his postgraduate studies at the Silliman University where he graduated with a master's degree in Divinity in 1984. He also earned a master's degree in Social Development from the Asian Institute of Management in 2005.[2][3]


Abella started his career in advertising. He served as Creative Director for Adformatix in Makati between 1975 and 1977. He then moved back to Davao to work as a columnist for Davao City newspaper San Pedro Express and as a professor at his alma mater Ateneo de Davao.[2][3]

In 1990, he founded the Hope of Asia and the Christian charismatic group Jesus Fellowship, Inc. He was also a board member of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and the Koinonia Theological Seminary. He became a preacher in Davao for several years until his abduction by ethnic bandits in 1996. In a meeting with media reporters following his appointment as Presidential Spokesperson, he narrated how then Davao city Mayor Rodrigo Duterte negotiated for his release within 24 hours. It was then when he started following Duterte and even actively campaigned for him in the last elections through his writings.[2][4]

Abella returned to secular life in 2002 and pursued a career in agri-business. He served as Chief Executive Officer of AZ Agri-Products and as Chief Operating Officer of F&P Agri-Inputs. He also established his own businesses: One Accord Credit Cooperative and Southpoint School in Davao City.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Ex-Duterte spokesman appointed DFA undersecretary". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Colina, A. (17 June 2016). "Abella assigned as spokesperson". Mindanao Daily Mirror. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Capistrano, Z. (14 June 2016). "Duterte's second spokesperson named". Davao Today. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  4. ^ a b Mellejor, L. (14 June 2016). "Panelo describes latest choices for Cabinet posts as people of integrity". Interaksyon.
  5. ^ "Duterte on replacing Abella: 'Personal decision'". Retrieved October 30, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Edwin Lacierda
Presidential Spokesperson
Succeeded by
Harry Roque