‘Leave President’s picks from show biz alone’
MALACAÑANG on Sunday defended President Duterte’s decision to appoint several showbiz personalities to his administration after their designation was criticized even by Duterte supporters in social media.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar called on the public to respect Mr. Duterte’s “presidential prerogative” to choose the people he wants to join his team in governing the country.
He declined to comment on the impending appointments of other supporters of the Mr. Duterte, among them, folk singer Freddie Aguilar, said to be the incoming chair of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.
“The (supposed) appointment or appointments are merely rumors until the appointments are signed. So far I have yet to see the signed appointments of those who have been heavily criticized by the public,” Andanar said in an interview over dzRB radio.
“If the President wishes to appoint anyone that (he) deems credible, then we leave the wisdom behind those (appointments) to the President,” Andanar said. “I am sure many of us Filipinos understand what we call presidential prerogative.”
Among those given plum posts were comedian Arnel Ignacio and singer Jimmy Bondoc, who were both appointed to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., and television host Kat de Castro, who was named a tourism undersecretary.
Netizens were also aghast by Mr. Duterte’s decision to tap lawyer Lanee David, a counsel of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, as deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Speaking at a testimonial dinner hosted by fellow San Beda College alumni last week, the President admitted his small circle of friends included only his former classmates in San Beda and his supporters from Davao City.
Meanwhile, Andanar clarified that international award-winning director Brillante Mendoza would not be receiving a single centavo from the government for directing the President’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 25.
“The reactions of the people in social media have been negative. (But) the great director is doing this pro bono, for free,” he said.
“If you have such a great talent like him who can volunteer his work, and if there are others who want to volunteer, you are welcome… to contribute your input (in) making the (Sona) of President Duterte a meaningful one,” Andanar added.
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.