Almendras niece gets choice ERC post

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THE niece of Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras has  been appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd as a commissioner of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Malacanang announced on Friday.

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Josefina Magpale-Asirit, who was an Undersecretary of the Department of Energy prior to her new assignment, will sit from July 11 this year to July 10, 2020. She now enjoys a full seven-year term, which is far better than a co-terminus one.

Asirit is also the daughter of Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, who was instrumental in the suspension of former Cebu governor and now Representative Gwen Garcia.

Asirit went on leave in January to help her mother’s bid to return as vice governor of Cebu in the midterm elections, which the elder Magpale won.

Asirit was also a former board member of the Northeastern Cebu Colleges and a former provincial board member of Cebu province.

Asirit was appointed as Energy Undersecretary in 2010. She offered a courtesy resignation in 2012 when Almendras was tapped to become Secretary to the Cabinet of the Philippines but was retained.

Two ERC commissioners— Maria Teresa Castañeda and Jose Reyes— retired on July 10.
Asirit will join other commissioners Victoria Taruc and Alfredo Non.

Her uncle, Almendras, is considered to be one of the most influential in the Aquino Cabinet following the issuance of Executive Order (EO) 99 delineating the duties and functions of the office of the Office of the Cabinet Secretariat which was renamed Office of the Cabinet Secretary.

Almendras is tasked to facilitate the identification of a list of priority areas and outcome-based targets in the social contract and the Philippine Development Plan. He also recommends to the President an annual detailed and measurable performance and projects roadmap.

Likewise, Almendras represents the President in meetings and other official gatherings.

New Ambassadors
Also on Friday, Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino has appointed nine new ambassadors to Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia.

Valte said Cecilia Rebong was appointed the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Valte announced on Friday that Rebong was appointed the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

Maria Rowena Sanchez was named Ambassador to Turkey with concurrent jurisdiction over Georgia and Azerbaijan, Valte said.

Victoriano Lecaros will be ambassador to the Czech Republic and Ma. Theresa Lazaro to France with concurrent jurisdiction over Monaco.

The other ambassadorial postings: Jaime Victor Ledda to Netherlands, Catalino Dilem Jr. to Mexico with concurrent jurisdiction over Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, Dominican Repubic and Cuba, Narciso Castañeda to Oman, Edsel Barba to Iraq and Vicente Bandillo to Bangladesh with concurrent jurisdiction over Sri Linka and Maldives.

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