Benhur Abalos next DILG chief
Presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has picked former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. to head the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Abalos, Marcos’ national campaign manager, was the second to be named to the incoming Marcos Cabinet after presumptive vice president Sara Duterte was chosen as education secretary.
Marcos’ spokesperson Victor Rodriguez announced Abalos’ selection at a press briefing on Friday in Mandaluyong City, the Abalos family’s political turf, where Benhur’s father Benjamin has again been elected mayor.
A seasoned lawyer and a former Mandaluyong mayor himself, the younger Abalos resigned from the MMDA in February to lead the Marcos campaign team, reprising the role he played when the late dictator’s son and namesake ran for vice president in 2016.
Marcos’ transition team
Rodriguez also announced that he would lead the Marcos camp’s transition team, whose other members include former Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo Jr., Partido Federal ng Pilipinas president and South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. and former Manila Rep. Naida Angping.
President Duterte earlier named the five members of his transition team—Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as chair and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua and Budget Undersecretary Tina Rose Marie Canda as members.
Marcos on Wednesday night said his Cabinet would be composed of individuals with “competence,” regardless of their “political leaning[s],” so long as they have the “willingness” to work with his administration.
Rodriguez on Thursday said: “We’re in the process of searching and looking up for possible nominees for different Cabinet positions. I don’t think anyone should expect that it can be announced in one setting because, as you know, the vetting process takes time, and appointing and nominating someone [is] not a one way thing. It has to be accepted and it has to be offered.”
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