Some Cabinet members quit, join poll races
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has lost some Cabinet members to the 2022 elections, but he will also retain a few of them who did not push through with their plan to join the polls.
The former executive officials who will run for senator were deemed resigned from their posts the moment they filed their certificates of candidacy (COC).
They are former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, former Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan II, former Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, former chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo, former Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission chair Greco Belgica, and former Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
But Duterte will get to keep his spokesperson Harry Roque, who had hitched his possible senatorial run to the presidential run of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Mayor Duterte did not file her COC for president, so Roque did not pursue his plan to join the Senate.
But speculations continue that Mayor Duterte would later seek the presidency as a substitute candidate, similar to the ploy used by Duterte in 2016.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also shelved his pursuit of a Senate seat.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III likewise did not file his COC, though he said months before that he was considering running for the Senate.
The President has yet to name a replacement for the Cabinet officials who resigned.
But Roque said earlier that officers in charge (OIC) could handle the affairs of the executive offices.
“Just because the secretary will be gone does not mean there will be a leadership vacuum because there will always be an OIC,” Roque said in a briefing last week.
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