SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: The cat is out of the bag.
After weeks of speculations on who President Rodrigo Duterte will appoint to take over the leadership of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), a number of officials here said Martin Diño is the incoming chairman and Marvin Ted Macapagal is the incoming administrator and CEO.
But the officials clarified that the names of Dino and Macapagal have not been officially announced by Malacañang and that the two do not have appointment papers yet.
Diño was named by outgoing SBMA chairman Roberto Garcia on September 19 as the new chairman and administrator of the government agency.
Randy Escolango, SBMA deputy administrator for legal affairs, had posted on Facebook Diño’s recent visit to the Subic freeport.
Mike Macapagal last Friday also posted on Facebook his meeting with President Duterte, the President’s executive assistant Bong Go and his brother Marvin Ted.
Mike, losing PDP-Laban candidate for the First District of Zambales in the May 2016 elections, congratulated Diño on his appointment as new SBMA chairman.
Diño, also of PDP-Laban, filed his certificate of candidacy for President but withdrew at the last minute to give way for Duterte as substitute candidate in the race to Malacañang.
The new SBMA chairman is also a former chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
Escolango said Diño has sent a transition team to the freeport to facilitate smooth turnover of leadership.
He was quoted as saying Diño’s appointment will be made official next week.
Diño is father to Liza Diño, who was wed to actress-singer Aiza Seguerra in same sex rites abroad.
Liza has been appointed by the President as chairman of the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Aiza as chairman of the National Youth Commission.
A business locator at the freeport with close ties to the President’s allies in Davao City confirmed Diño is the same person they heard being considered as SBMA chairman but denied knowledge about Macapagal’s appointment as SBMA administrator and CEO.
In a conversation with The Manila Times on Thursday, Lyceum president and CEO Alfonso Borda said Diño is the guy eyed as the next freeport chairman but his appointment is pending.
“There are three of them being considered for the post as far as I know,” Borda added.
He, however, refused to divulge the names of the other two, saying it is highly confidential.
Borda said the official announcement will probably come out next week.
According to him, Malacañang is looking at appointing a chairman and an administrator to head the agency but said he has not heard about the possible appointment of Macapagal.
He said the Macapagals may have direct access to the President.
Borda said as far as he knows, the President does not promise appointment to anybody and there is a screening group for the final appointment of people to government positions.
“I am sure that nobody knows who will really sit there until such time the President signs their appointment papers,” he told The Manila Times.