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Cabinet choices Duterte’s own ‘KKK’

DUTERTE’S VISITORS  Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte with former Senate President Manny Villar, wife Sen. Cynthia Villar, son Rep. Mark Villar and brother Jojo Villar in Davao City as the Villars’ Nacionalista Party joins PDP-Laban in the so-called Coalition of Change. Also in photo are PDP-Laban president Sen. Koko Pimentel, Duterte’s running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, former Transportation Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez, former Manila International Airport Authority chief Alfonso Cusi and chief aide Bong Go. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

DUTERTE’S VISITORS Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte with former Senate President Manny Villar, wife Sen. Cynthia Villar, son Rep. Mark Villar and brother Jojo Villar in Davao City as the Villars’ Nacionalista Party joins PDP-Laban in the so-called Coalition of Change. Also in photo are PDP-Laban president Sen. Koko Pimentel, Duterte’s running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, former Transportation Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez, former Manila International Airport Authority chief Alfonso Cusi and chief aide Bong Go. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

DAVAO CITY—At first blush, Rodrigo Duterte’s choices for prime positions in his First Family aren’t any different from the mold of that of his predecessor.

Key posts are reserved for classmates and aides who have served Duterte as mayor of Davao City for two decades in the same mold of President Aquino’s KKK crowd—kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan.

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The presumptive President-elect announced on Monday some names that would compose his Cabinet at his first news conference since the elections last week gave him a record mandate to rule the nation for the next six years.

Duterte said he had offered the finance portfolio to his childhood  friend and class valedictorian, Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III, who served as agriculture secretary under President Cory Aquino.

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He said he wanted Arthur Tugade, his classmate at  San Beda law school, as transportation secretary. Tugade previously headed  Clark Development Corp.

Duterte said he offered the position of secretary of justice or  foreign affairs to his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, but he can  assume either position after the one-year ban on appointment of losing  candidates.

Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Perfecto Yasay would be foreign secretary in an acting capacity for a year,  although Yasay said he was currently handling classes in a US university, according to Duterte.

Salvador Medialdea, a lawyer and member of the transition committee, has been offered the post of executive secretary, Duterte said.

Duterte said lawyer Salvador Panelo would take charge of the press as his  spokesperson.

For education secretary, Duterte said he had chosen Peter Laurel, the  president of Lyceum of the Philippines University. Laurel’s father was  former Sen. Sotero Laurel, a brother of the late Vice President Salvador  Laurel.

 Top public servant

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Duterte was also expected to meet with former Defense Secretary Gilbert  Teodoro Jr., whose name was recently floated as among the choices for secretary of national defense. Duterte has spoken highly of Teodoro, even calling him a top public  servant. Teodoro ran for President in 2010.

On Sunday, Duterte met with three  former Davao City police chiefs who were reportedly among those  considered to become the next Philippine National Police director general  under his administration.

PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez has said he would submit his courtesy  resignation upon Duterte’s assumption of office to give the new President a  freehand in choosing the next police chief.

Present at the dinner-meeting held at Hotel Elena was the Southern Luzon Command chief, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya,  whom Duterte said was being considered as the next Armed Forces chief of staff.

It was still not clear whom Duterte would pick between Senior Supt. Rene  Aspera, Chief Supt. Ramon Apolinario and Chief Supt. Ronald dela Rosa as  replacement for Marquez.

But this early, Dela Rosa appears to be on top of the choices.

 Hardworking

Dela Rosa, who was city police chief from 2011 to 2013, is a member of  Class 1986 of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and is known to  be hardworking.

He was largely credited for the drastic reduction in the volume of “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) in  the city when he implemented Oplan “Tukhang” (Tuktok-Hangyo), which saw  police authorities knocking on the doors of suspected drug pushers and  asking them to stop.

Aspera, a member of PMA Class 1987, was Dela Rosa’s  immediate predecessor. Under his command, the city police reaped awards, including  best police office under the city category.

Apolinario, a member of PMA Class 1985, was the city police director when  authorities discovered 16-kilograms of high-grade cocaine in a container  yard here in December 2009. Apolinario is currently police director of Mimaropa and will be  retiring on Aug. 31, 2018.

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