APPOINTED Acting Press Secretary Crispulo “Jun” Icban said he will report at the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) on Monday.

Icban, during a short visit at the OPS Wednesday morning, said that in respect of Remonde, he will let the nine days of the late Cabinet official pass before he assume post.

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The 74-year-old Manila Bulletin editor-in-chief said he considered the Cebuano newsman as his friend and he felt sorry for his untimely death.

Greeted by some Malacañang reporters and OPS personnel, Icban said he is too old for the job as press secretary but he could not say no to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is a fellow Kapampangan.

Arroyo personally asked Icban to become the acting press secretary during the induction of officers and directors of the Capampangans in Media Inc. (Cami), a day after Remonde’s death. Icban is the chairman of Cami.

Icban said he took the appointment of Arroyo in the condition that he will only serve for five months in government office and will get back to media as soon as Arroyo’s term ends.

Arroyo first appointed Philippine Information Agency head Conrado Dodie Limcauco as acting press secretary shortly after the death of Remonde last January 19.

She later renamed Limcauco as officer-in-charge after she announced during the lunch with Malacanang Press Corps. that she will be appointing Icban as acting press secretary hoping for a good relationship with the media since he is a mediaman himself.

Icban is an alumnus of the University of the Philippines where he obtained a degree in A.B. English and graduated magna cum laude.

He served as editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, the university student paper, during his senior year in UP.

He obtained his Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Syracuse University in New York where he studied on Fulbright and Smith Mundt grants in 1957 to 1958. He is a recipient of a Nieman Fellowship study grant at Harvard University.

Icban served as a general assistant in the editorial department of the joined the Manila Times in 1954 until he became a reporter covering the Department of Foreign Affairs.

He later became an editorial writer and eventually the news editor of the Manila Times, a position he held until the paper closed down in 1972 during the Martial Law period.

He then joined the Manila Bulletin as consultant to the publisher in 1974 before becoming news editor and later as editor. He became Editor-in-Chief of Manila Bulletin on November 25, 2003 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the same paper. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)