Bearers of bad news give President Aquino the jitters
It would be no surprise if some Cabinet members are now on pins and needles after President Aquino jokingly said Thursday that there were two or three members of his official family who he’d rather not deal with.
In a speech at the 113th anniversary celebrations of the Department of Public Works and Highways on Thursday, Mr. Aquino praised Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson for always giving him good news and solutions to problems whenever they sit down to discuss the department’s concerns.
He said he also welcomed meetings with Science Secretary Mario Montejo and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad as they always presented him with positive developments and solutions.
But in the case of two or three unnamed Cabinet members, the President said, “everytime I see them, I immediately think, what bad news do they have for me?”
“That’s why whenever they [Singson, Montejo and Abad] would ask for an appointment, I immediately approve it. The others, I just force myself to face [them],” he told his audience that included two former public works secretaries—Zambales Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane, Jr. and Vicente Paterno—and DPWH officials and rank-and-file employees.
There was one particular Cabinet secretary, Mr. Aquino said, who seemed to be his “penance”.
This is the second time that an oblique expression of dissatisfaction with a Cabinet official from the President has unsettled the members of his official family.
In late May, in remarks at the airport on arriving from a state visit to Thailand, Mr. Aquino said an unnamed Cabinet official could be given another assignment if issues concerning the agency he headed were not resolved.
He said the secretary was one of those with him at the airport.
This prompted Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda to say that the Cabinet members who did not go to the airport to meet the President that night could “all heave a sigh of relief.”
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