Duterte looking for replacements for Cabinet members seeking election in 2019
DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday confirmed at least six of his Cabinet secretaries are seeking elective posts and that he was looking for their replacements.
The President made the announcement on his arrival here after attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders’ meet in Indonesia.
“There has to be replacement because there are positions to be vacated,” Mr. Duterte said.
The President also said he was eyeing former broadcaster and the country’s permanent envoy to the United Nations (UN) Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. as possible replacement to Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano who is seeking a seat at the House of Representatives in next year’s midterm elections.
“For the DFA, I’m looking for a mestizo. I do not have his permission,” the President said.
With the planned Senate bid of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the President said the former’s job would be temporarily given to Presidential Legal Adviser Salvador Panelo.
The President also confirmed the appointment of former Army Chief Lt. General Joselito Bautista as social welfare secretary.
The Chief Executive clarified that his penchant for giving former military officers Cabinet posts was not to belittle the bureaucracy or please the defense establishment but because they immediately follow orders.
Other Cabinet officials reportedly running in next year’s elections include Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, whom the President has promised to support, as well as political adviser Francis Tolentino.
Both Go and Tolentino are seeking senatorial seats. /muf
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