President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed former Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor commissioner Melissa Avanceña Aradanas as deputy secretary general of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
The appointment papers of Aradanas were released by Malacañang Friday, as she replaced Patrocinio Jude Esguerra III at the HUDCC.
Duterte also appointed Monica Teodoro, former Tarlac representative and spouse of former Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro, as special envoy of the President to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Teodoro’s term as special emissary to Unicef will expire on Sept. 27, 2018.
The President also picked Bruce Concepcion as special envoy on Transnational Crime.
Duterte’s decision to fire all the top officials of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor also affected Honeylet Avanceña, Duterte’s partner and Aradanas’ cousin.
Duterte himself referred to her as Honeylet’s cousin in a speech at the Malacañang Press Corps Christmas party on Dec. 12.
“I also fired her but I told my wife, ‘You call your cousin and say they have to leave,’” Duterte said.
Sources said Aradanas had not hidden that connection and even mentioned it to those she worked with.
The close ties could be one reason Aradanas was able to visit Duterte’s residence in Manila on Dec. 4.
The get-together with other Aradanases and Duterte’s staff supposedly took place on Thursday, Dec. 7.
Melvyn Aradanas even posted a photo of him and Melissa with Duterte and Avanceña.
But it was on Dec. 8 when Duterte announced he would “fire” an entire commission.
There are suspicions that Aradanas had mentioned the inner workings of the PCUP to Duterte during the gathering, information that eventually led him to fire its executives.