Duterte swears in 124 gov’t officials
MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte swore into office on Tuesday, 124 government appointees led by his allies, election lawyer Amado Valdez as chairman of the Social Security System, and his party-mate, Martin Dino as chair of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
The appointees included ambassadors, judges, and department undersecretaries who have filled up some of the thousands of appointive positions declared vacant by the President last August to crack down on corruption in the bureaucracy.
Valdez, former dean of the University of the East (UE) College of Law, was also one of the petitioners who sought the disqualification of then presidential front-runner Grace Poe during the recent elections.
Dino is also chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and deputy secretary general for Luzon of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). He was PDP-Laban’s original candidate for president and was substituted by Duterte when the latter had made up his mind about running for the highest post.
Other key appointees who took office on Tuesday, were lawyer Karen Jimeno as undersecretary for legal affairs at the Department of Public Works and Highways; Berna Romulo Puyat as undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture; Raoul Creencia, Noel Kintanar, Felipe Judan, and Garry de Guzman as undersecretaries of Department of Transportation; Jorge Sarmiento as undersecretary of the Department of Communications; and Riccojudge Echiverri as assistant secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Governments.
The new ambassadors who were sworn into office on Tuesday were Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel, Special Envoy of the President to the Middle East Roy Cimatu, Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe Lhuillier, Philippine Ambassador to Kenya Norman Garibay, Philippine Ambassador to Nigeria Shirley Ho-Vicario, and Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Alan Timbayan.
Aside from the government appointees, the President also administered the oath for the new officers of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines led by its president, Socorro Mayor Maria Fe Brondial of Oriental Mindoro. SFM
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