DAVAO CITY, Philippines ? President Benigno Aquino III snubbed criticisms over the appointment of his running mate, Sen. Manuel Roxas, as Palace chief of staff.
Mr. Aquino said the appointment of Roxas would be out in less than two weeks.
"We are still fine-tuning, looking at every detail (of the appointment)," Mr. Aquino told journalists here Wednesday.
The appointment of Roxas drew a number of criticisms, especially because his functions have not been fully defined yet. The President, however, dismissed worries that putting Roxas in Malacañang as the chief of staff would stir more trouble between rival factions within his camp..
"Hindi naman siguro ako gagawa kung magkakaroon ng confusion (I will not do anything that will only cause confusion). That is why I am appointing him. We are delineating the functions of everyone so that there is no overlapping, each work complements the other," Aquino said in a brief news conference after he spoke before delegates to the Philippine Medical Association here Wednesday morning.
The appointment of Roxas, he said, would help "avoid confusion, turf wars..."
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said in Manila that the role of Roxas as chief of staff, if not properly defined, could clash with the role of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr.
Sen. Joker Arroyo also suggested that it would be better for Mr. Aquino to appoint Roxas as executive secretary to replace Ochoa.
Sen. Ralph Recto, on the other hand, said the reunion of Mr. Aquino and Roxas "should translate to more healthy and no-holds barred debates."
"His inputs in crafting national policies would be valuable as he offers the chief executive wider choices of options that would be crucial in decision-making process. Mar's background as economist, legislator and cabinet official would decisively enrich the doctrines of governance that is anchored on empowering the poor and cutting down excesses," Recto said in a statement.
"The cabinet should expect heightened competition of ideas, not of egos, in the days to come...Mar should be welcomed and what a welcome presence he would be in the Cabinet," he added.