PRESIDENT-elect Rodrigo Duterte may have appointed some unknown personalities to his Cabinet but some senators do not see any problem with the composition of the incoming leader’s official family.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd said he expects the confirmation of the Cabinet appointees at the Commission on Appointments (CA) to be a breeze because of Duterte’s popularity.
“Actually he has named some unknown personalities that we still have to find out the background of some of these people, that’s a good sign,” said Pimentel, the president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara said he hopes that the incoming Cabinet will perform well because most of the appointees are known in their respective fields and have served in government.
Some business leaders also said the new Cabinet members should be given a chance to prove their worth.
“I think we should give it [Cabinet] a chance. I am particularly delighted by the appointment of Carlos Dominguez as Finance secretary, he is good. Benjamin Diokno, on the other hand, had never been involved in any anomaly and he is an economics professor by profession so I think he and [Leonor] Briones, who is also a professor, are okay. But I am particularly concerned about the son of [former senator Manuel]Villar, it does not send a good signal to investors for reasons of conflict of interest,” Leonardo Arguelles, president and chief executive officer of Unicapital Securities Inc., said.
He was referring to newly-elected Las Piñas City (Metro Manila) Rep. Mark Villar, who was named secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Briones has been named as Education secretary.
Victor Benavidez, general manager of Alakor Securities Corp., shared Arguelles’ stand.
“It’s composed of a number of old timers, both from the Ramos and Arroyo presidencies.
They are experienced, they don’t have any learning curve so to speak, while there are also a number of newcomers. By and large, we should give them the chance to prove that they deserve their respective posts,” he said.
Joseph Roxas, president of Eagle Equities Inc., said Filipinos “will have to wait and see.”
“A lot of them are not well known, except of course for Dominguez, Diokno, [former Clark Development Corporation president Arthur]Tugade, [former national treasurer Leonor]Briones. Most of them are former[members of the]military so they are probably idealistic.
At this point, we have to trust the better judgment of the incoming President,” Roxas added.
Tugade was given the Transportation portfolio.
Pimentel said Duterte is not obliged to appoint Vice President-elect Leni Robredo to any Cabinet position.
“The [incoming]President is not under the obligation to offer a Cabinet position to the [incoming]Vice President. The Constitution says that if ever the VP [Vice Presiden]) is given a post, he or she does not have to go through confirmation, that is all,” he noted.
“So there’s no obligation, on the part of the [incoming]President. That’s his official family. Let the [incoming]President choose his alter egos,” Pimentel said.
But Angara expressed optimism that Robredo will eventually be given a Cabinet post.
“But we should not rush the incoming President because there are still plenty of vacant positions in the Cabinet and other agencies. The President can even create a new agency to accommodate the Vice President,” he said.
As for the members of Duterte’s Cabinet, Angara noted that some have experience in public service.
“Hopefully, there will be a synergy of what we call ‘the sum is greater than its party,’” the senator said.