Roxas: I will start fresh at DILG, but probes to continueBy TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—New Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II has resisted any temptations to read communications pertaining to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) until he finally assumes his post on Monday.
Roxas, however, vowed to resume investigations and follow up on recommendations left behind by his predecessor, the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Roxas took his oath on Saturday before President Aquino in Malacañang in simple rites witnessed by his wife Korina Sanchez, son Paolo, mother Judy Araneta-Roxas and Robredo’s widow Leni, among others.
“I have disciplined myself not to get hold of any papers coming from the DILG at this time… so that I will have a fresh look at things,” Roxas told reporters when asked about his plans on the controversial firearms deal forged by the Philippine National Police.
Roxas said that he would first have to settle down and assess the scope of his work before he decides on important issues, including the replacement for Interior Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, who resigned to give Roxas a free hand in picking his team at the DILG.
“I have to report for work and find out what the needs are so that we will recruit based on these needs,” he said.
Roxas said he would prioritize the crackdown on criminality and the strengthening of local government units, which are the front liners in the delivery of government service.
“There is P300 billion allocated for internal revenue allotments. If this is well spent, it would synergize with what we’re spending in the national government,” he said.
To show that he was serious at his new job, Roxas said his first official act as interior secretary on Monday would be to file a leave of absence as Liberal Party president.
“The job that was given to me by the President, like all the other jobs, is very serious and I’m taking this seriously,” he said.