Cabinet guessing game: Who will go?By Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Cabinet officials who did not meet President Benigno Aquino III at the airport on Friday night can rest easy that they will not be reassigned, according to his spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda.
“I think the Cabinet secretaries who didn’t go to the airport can all heave a sigh of relief,” Lacierda said in jest when asked yesterday if he regretted meeting the President upon the latter’s arrival from a state visit to Thailand.
“You know, it can be anyone of us. It may be a cliché but we serve at the pleasure of the President. We serve at his behest,” Lacierda said.
Speaking with reporters at the airport, Mr. Aquino said there could be a Cabinet reshuffle. He said an official could be reassigned if issues in the official’s agency were not resolved.
He also said that the official was among those at the airport.
Lacierda said that prior to Mr. Aquino’s departure for Bangkok on Thursday, “there was no indication at all” that he was displeased with the performance of a member of his Cabinet.
“I suppose the President is keeping his cards close to his chest on this one,” Lacierda said. “This will be made clear in the coming days.”
The President was explaining to reporters what had made him decide to make permanent the appointments of Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo when he disclosed the possibility of changes in the Cabinet.
His move concerning Paje and Robredo has drawn praise from Senator Joker Arroyo.
“That’s a very good decision on the part of the President,” Arroyo yesterday told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
He said Paje was “a very good choice,” and Robredo was “fit for the position of local government secretary.”
Arroyo also said the permanent appointment of Paje and the impending confirmation of career ambassadors augured well for the career service.
“The President should be commended for promoting the career service. In other words, the appointments are not political,” he said. With a report from TJ Burgonio