President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has formed a six-man committee that will implement a smooth transition of power in Malacañang, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
Peter Laviña bared the composition of the transition committee on a Facebook post.
“It’s now out. The members of the Duterte Transition Committee are Campaign Manager Leoncio “Jun” Evasco; Assistant Campaign Manager and Executive Assistant Christopher “Bong” Go; Carlos G. Dominguez, former Cabinet member and Head of our Campaign Finance Committee; lawyers Salvador Medialdea and Loreto Ata, personal lawyers of the presumptive President, and yours truly at your service,” Laviña said.
The transition committee, he added, was formed on Wednesday.
The members met at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.
Laviña said they also plan to hold daily news conferences “to continue serving the various media and help us disseminate news and information about presumptive President Rody Duterte.”
Rody and Digong are Duterte’s nicknames.
A media center was established at the Duterte national campaign headquarters for regular briefings at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. everyday, Lavina said.
Malacañang said President Benigno Aquino 3rd has also reached out to the camp of Duterte through Go.
Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Aquino assured Go that the Cabinet is ready to ensure the “smoothest transition.”
“I talked to Mr. Bong Go yesterday [Tuesday] to relay to Mayor Duterte that an Administrative Order (AO) is being drafted designating the Executive Secretary [Paquito Ochoa Jr.] as head of the transition team,” Coloma quoted the President as saying.
“I further offered that the Cabinet stands ready to brief his team on any and all of their concerns. Lastly, we are committed to effecting the smoothest transition possible,” Aquino further said.
Go confirmed to the media that Aquino called Duterte on Tuesday night.
He is among the few men in Duterte’s inner circle who may be credited for the latter’s victory.
Go earned the moniker “national photobomber” for being usually visible behind the presumptive President during interviews.
Go, a grandson of a close Duterte friend, manages the personal and political affairs of the mayor.
Other members of Duterte’s core group will provide support to the transition team.
These include Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (Duterte’s running mate), former Transportation Secretary and elected Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez, former Press Secretary Jesus Dureza and First District Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles.
Former presidential assistant for Mindanao Paul Dominguez was also seen at the Marco Polo hotel.
Laviña said the transition team will be one of several groups formed to prepare for Duterte’s assumption into office.
There are the search committee and the team that will plan for Duterte’s inauguration.
The transition committee will help the mayor identify members of the Cabinet and create a team to review Duterte and Cayetano’s policy statements during the campaign.
For the inauguration, Laviña said they will coordinate with Malacanang on protocols.
A team will also identify Duterte’s personal envoys to communicate with heads of embassies in the Philippines, churches, civil society organizations, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, business chambers, World Bank, Japan International Cooperating Agency and Asian Development Bank, among others.
Alvarez said they are doing their best so that Duterte’s administration will not be a failure.
“Ayaw natin na failure ang bagong administration kaya ginagawa natin ito para suportahan yong bagong nakaupo kung ano programa niya [We do not like the new administration to be a failure that is why we are doing this so that the new one who sits there is supported…what his program is],” he said.
Go, meanwhile, said Duterte is not vindictive.
“Pag tapos na ang elections, talo na ang tao, bagsak na tutulungan ka pa. Hindi vindictive si mayor [When the elections are finished… the person who lost and who is down, he will help. The mayor is not vindictive],” he added.
WITH JOEL M. SY EGCO AND PNA