Quiboloy hurt in selection of Duterte’s Cabinet members
DAVAO CITY— (UPDATE) Carefully chosen or lobbied for?
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a longtime friend of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, is saddened that incoming members of the Cabinet have not been properly chosen, the religious leader’s spokesperson said Friday.
“Dapat may tamang proseso (There should be a correct process),” Mike Abe, quoting Quiboloy, told INQUIRER.net in an interview. Abe is the official spokesperson of Pastor Quiboloy.
After Duterte cemented a wide lead in the presidential race, his camp formed a transition team to search for potential Cabinet and sub-Cabinet members.
The team said they wanted the administration of Duterte to be representative of the country as a whole and gender-sensitive.
But Abe said some incoming Cabinet members were lobbied for by some politicians.
He said, quoting Peter Laviña, that reelected Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar was initially eyed to be trade and industry secretary, but Duterte’s running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, lobbied for him to be public works secretary.
Mark is the son of former senator and real-estate magnate Manny Villar and incumbent senator Cynthia.
The younger Villar met with Duterte on Monday night here when the mayor offered him the post. His parents also met with Duterte here.
Villar’s Nacionalista Party earlier forged an alliance with Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
INQUIRER.net has sought a response from Cayetano, but he has yet to respond as of posting time.
No official communication
Abe said Quiboloy and Duterte had no “official communication” after the May 9 elections, and that Quiboloy was not consulted about the appointees.
“Yan po ang malungkot. Wala pong nangyaring consultation. Since day one (after election day), di siya (Quiboloy) natawagan,” Abe said.
(That is what’s saddening. There has been no consultation. Since day one after the elections, Quiboloy was not consulted.)
Abe said Quiboloy wanted to talk to Duterte but he has not been able to do so.
“Hinaharang ng mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya (He has been prevented from seeing Duterte by the men around him),” he said.
But Abe said Quiboloy was not interested in any government position. He said the pastor only wanted that a proper selection process be followed.
“Gusto lang tumulong ni Pastor kay (Pastor just wants to help) Mayor and the Filipinos,” he said.
“Dapat suriin kung sino ang karapat-dapat (We should select properly those who deserve the position),” he said, echoing Quiboloy’s sentiments.
In a press briefing, Lavina, who serves as the spokesman of the Duterte transition team, extended his apologies to Quiboloy.
“We extend our apologies. Hopefully, we can adjust accordingly.”
He said there was no “deliberate effort” to ease out Quiboloy from Duterte’s core group.
“These are not intentional. We wanted to accommodate everyone and of course we want to consult everyone. This is a continuing process,” he told reporters.
“Meron talagang hindi na-entertain and we received this feedback and we are happy na we are receiving this feedback so they can adjust,” he added.
He said the staff members of Duterte were “overwhelmed” by the number of well-wishers.
“We did not expect that so many and they were not prepared,” he said.
Asked about the presence of lobbyists in the transition team and to Duterte, he said it’s part of democracy.
“That is part of democracy. That is how our system works. Our original plan was to welcome well-wishers but we cannot prevent people from bringing issues to the incoming president, suggesting names, offering gifts such as those who brought in books. All of these are part of the process. Mayor does not want to turn them down but it prolongs the process. Some are bringing issues, suggesting nominees but these are part and partial of the process, which we need to understand.”
He said all the named Cabinet members would only be official “until the mayor signs their paper.” IDL/TVJ
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