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Arroyo as finance or budget chief? Rumors, says Diokno

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 12:20 AM December 20, 2018
Benjamin Diokno

This photo, taken Jan. 3, 2017, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno holds a press briefing in Malacañang. (Photo by TOTO LOZANO / Presidential Photographers Division)

MANILA, Philippines — Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday dismissed as mere “rumors” that House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would want to head the Department of Finance or the the Department of Budget and Management.

“Sa job ko? My goodness, sure. No, I haven’t [heard of that rumor]. Kala ko kay Secretary [Carlos] Dominguez, hindi naman sa akin ,” Diokno said in a Palace briefing.

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[My job? My goodness, sure. No, I haven’t of that rumor. I though it was the job of Secretary Dominguez she was rumored to be after.]

“Finance [post] di ba? There are rumors. Sabi nga ni Secretary Dominguez interesting. But these are all speculations,” he added.

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[It was the finance post, wasn’t it. There are rumors. Secretary Dominguez said it was interesting. But these are all speculations.]

In a Palace briefing right after Diokno’s press conference in Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he had no information that Arroyo would join the Duterte Cabinet.

Arroyo, who took over as House Speaker last July, is now on her last term as Pampanga representative.

“I don’t know. We will ask the President,” Panelo said.

“Ngayon ko lang narinig ‘yun. Kasi ang naririnig ko kay Speaker she wants to retire. That’s a new development.”

[That’s the first time I heard about that. What I heard was that the Speaker wants to retire. That’s a new development.]

“She wants to enjoy retirement,” Panelo added. “Wala siyang nababanggit eh. Pag nagkausap naman kami every now and then, wala namang nababanggit.”

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[She has not mentioned anything about that. Whenever we would talk every now and then, she never mentioned anything about it.]

Last November, Arroyo herself said her possible appointment to the Cabinet was “hypothetical.”

There was previous clamor for Dominguez, a childhood friend and schoolmate of President Rodrigo Duterte, to resign due to controversies plaguing the Bureau of Customs, which is under the Department of Finance.

But Malacañang dismissed the clamor, saying it had no basis. /atm

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TAGS: Benjamin Diokno, Carlos Dominguez III, DBM, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Finance, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
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