Wrong man for the job
MEMBERS of President Digong’s Cabinet were surprised by the appointment of Lito Banayo as managing director and resident representative of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco).
Meco is the country’s de facto embassy in Taipei as we adhere to the “One China” policy under which Taiwan is considered only a province of China.
But Meco is more than just a de facto embassy. As its name implies, it is a trading office and anyone who heads it holds a sinecure.
Banayo has a pending graft case at the Office of the Ombudsman for allegedly rigging rice import allocations when he was administrator of the National Food Authority (NFA).
The filing of the case was recommended by the Senate which investigated the allegation against him.
As I had previously reported in my column, in the early days of the Cory Aquino administration, Banayo was fired as postmaster general by Transportation Secretary Reinerio Reyes.
Reyes told Banayo that if he did not vacate his office, soldiers would bodily carry him out.
However, then President Noynoy appointed Banayo NFA chief against the advice of Reyes.
Banayo was reportedly recommended by Sen. Chiz Escudero, a close friend of P-Noy.
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During the last election campaign, Banayo foisted himself upon the camp of presidential candidate Digong Duterte by appointing himself as the spokesperson.
However, he was driven away by Digong’s aides for usurping their jobs as well as for his questionable background.
Undaunted, Banayo went over to the camp of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Digong’s running mate.
“I think it was Cayetano who strongly recommended him for that position (Meco managing director),” said an official in the newly installed Digong administration.
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