Davao City Mayor and incoming President Digong Duterte told reporters he would meet with members of his future Cabinet in Davao in the coming week.
“I will be meeting them all as a group for the first time. I want a Cabinet that is not hostile to one another,” Digong said.
He might be in for a big surprise.
Most members of Digong’s Cabinet have a strong dislike for the incoming presidential spokesperson, Salvador Panelo.
They consider Panelo an oddball and interloper.
For example, many of the incoming Cabinet members were shocked to read yesterday’s news report quoting Panelo as calling on Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago to concede defeat in the presidential contest so as not to delay Digong’s proclamation.
“The CM (city mayor) never authorized him to say that,” one of them said, referring to Digong who still holds the mayoral post until June 30.
If ever, my source in Digong’s inner circle said, the guy who should have done that—calling on Santiago to concede—is Vit Aguirre, the presumptive president-elect’s justice secretary.
But Aguirre, who was appointed by Digong to represent him at the canvassing of votes in Congress, would never raise such an “outrageous” issue.
Even Sen. Koko Pimentel, head of the Senate canvassing panel and Digong’s party mate, said Panelo’s wish for Santiago to concede was irrelevant.
“It’s not important and it’s irrelevant,” said Pimentel.
Santiago finished last in the presidential race.
The other presidential candidates—Mar Roxas, Grace Poe and Jojo Binay—had all conceded defeat to Duterte.
One time, Bingbong Medialdea, the appointed executive secretary, called incoming fellow Cabinet members to an acquaintance meeting.
Medialdea berated Panelo for bringing three beautiful women to the meeting which was called exclusively for the Cabinet members, according to my source.
“It looked like he was pimping for the women,” one of the attendees remarked.
“Magbabastusan ba tayo dito (Are we here to disrespect one another)?” Medialdea was quoted by my source as telling Panelo.
The selection of Panelo as his presidential spokesperson was probably Digong’s idea of fun, as he is naughtily playful with the media.
For now, the media consider Panelo a comic relief from reports of people jockeying for positions in the Duterte administration.
However, if Panelo continues to be presidential spokesperson when Digong takes over the reins of government on June 30, the media will consider it an affront and return the “compliment.”
The Bangladesh government has not acknowledged junket operator Kim Wong for returning about $15 million of the $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh central bank through a cyberheist.
The amount that Wong returned was paid to him by bigtime Chinese gamblers who were guests of his gaming business.
Is it difficult for the Bangladesh government to say “thank you” to Wong?
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.