DAVAO CITY—More friends and province mates joined the incoming Cabinet of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
In a press conference Tuesday night, Duterte confirmed that the former South Cotabato governor and PDP-Laban chairman Ismael Sueno, his close friend, would head the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), which has the control over all local police.
Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1973, and former special presidential representative of the Office of Philippine Veterans Affairs in the United States will head the Department of National Defense (DND).
Lorenzana was a high school classmate of Duterte patron and friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, and was the 601st brigade commander in Malungon, Sarangani in 2000.
Former Maj. Gen. Isidro Lapena, the former Philippine National Police director for operations will head the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency while former Army 5th Infantry Division head Brig. Gen. Ricardo Jalad will lead the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Catalino Cuy, the former Davao City police chief who later became the chief of the Special Action Force before the Mamasapano will be tapped to be undersecretary for police concerns under the DILG, and former Dangerous Drugs Board will be the head of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Lawyer Martin Delgra, a senior partner of the Suelto Barba Delgra Claudio Lorejo Law Firm here in Davao City, will head the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board while NBI Davao Regional Director Dante Gierran will head the National Bureau of Investigation.
Cesar Dulay will head the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Edgar Galvante the Land Transportation Office, while Alex Monteagudo will head the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
Mike Diño, brother of PDP-Laban member Martin Diño who filled in for Duterte when he had not yet decided to run as president, will be the presidential assistant for the Visayas.
Duterte also confirmed the appointments of former UP Professor Judy Taguiwalo to head the Department of Social Welfare and Development and former lawmaker and peasant leader Rafael Mariano to the Department of Agrarian Reform.
Duterte earlier offered four Cabinet positions to the Communist Party of the Philippines—Agrarian Reform, Environment and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment and Social Welfare and Development.
Asked about the unfilled Cabinet posts, Duterte said that the DENR post will remain his “concession to the left” while he is reviewing his nominees still for the Department of Tourism and Department of Health.
Duterte had earlier named Carlos Dominguez III, former Agriculture secretary, to head the Finance Department; former Budget secretary Benjamin Diokno to his old post; Ernesto Pernia of the UP School of Economics, to head the National Economic and Development Authority; former Justice secretary Silvestre Bello III to the Department of Labor and Employment and chief negotiator to the National Democratic Front.
Former Press secretary Jesus Dureza will head the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Perfecto Yasay Jr. will be acting Foreign Affairs secretary; Duterte’s law school fraternity brother, Vitaliano Aguirre II, will be Justice secretary; former North Cotabato governor Emmanuel Piñol, Agriculture secretary; Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar, Public Works and Highways secretary; former Clark Development Corp. president Arthur Tugade, Department of Transportation; and former Armed Forces chief Hermogenes Esperon will be National Security Adviser.
Ronald Dela Rosa will be taking over the position as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) while Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya will head the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The incoming president said he will also appoint former Immigration chief Andrea Domingo as head of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation and Jose Calida as solicitor-general.
Duterte said it was not a simple job to put a Cabinet together.
“When I am not in the public eye, I am reviewing recommendees. I can assure you they are all men of honesty and integrity,” Duterte said.
“There will never be a time when I will ask my colleagues in government to do the wrong thing. I assure the country, our businessmen, our people: I will level, really level the playing field. I don’t want people to complain,” he said.
In the same press conference, he said he was still ambivalent about giving a post to Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, because of his friendship with her rival, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
“I know Bongbong Marcos. I do not want to hurt him. Leni should understand that she belongs to the opposite side,” he said.
There is also no law that compels him to make her a member of his Cabinet, he added.
Robredo edged out Marcos for the vice presidency by a slim margin. His camp has not yet decided to file an election protest.
Duterte said his bond with Marcos was formed when his father became a member of the Cabinet of the senator’s father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos.
He described his father as a true “Marcos boy.”
“When Marcos first ran for president, all Mindanao governors that time jumped to the Liberal Party except two—(former Zamboanga del Sur) Governor (Bienvenido) Ebarle and my father (Vicente Duterte) who stood by Marcos all the way,” Duterte said.
“Speaking of loyalty and friendship, I am proud to say that my father was a close ally of President Marcos until his death,” he added.
The Palace said Tuesday the public should respect Duterte’s choice of Cabinet members. With Sandy Araneta and Rio N. Araja
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