Incoming president defends choices for Cabinet posts

INCOMING President Rodrigo Duterte addressed criticisms of him being “limited” in his appointees for his Cabinet.
Duterte has appointed people within his social circle–from classmates to childhood friends.
He explained that his social circle is small and is only comprised of his classmates and brothers because of his limited interactions in Manila back in the days when he was still studying.
He said that there is no such thing as him appointing friends and relatives, as pointed out by his critics.
He said that his sphere of influence during those days in Manila only covered school and classmates and the people he met and talked to while he was still studying.
“Aside from that I don’t know anybody else in Manila,” he said. “Even when I was a congressman, I wasn’t socializing actually. Wala akong kilala who is a looming genius in government.”
He added that the people that he knows are his brothers and childhood friends who he personally knows are proficient.
“I could not have selected from a larger portion of a population for the simple reason that my (social) horizon is limited to school, dorm, friends, and brothers who are close to me,” he said. “Everyone else is from Davao.”
“You do not appoint somebody that you do not trust,” he said. He added that he knows his appointees long enough to know their character, capacity, and honesty.
Duterte is set to meet with people whom he will appoint as secretaries for DND, DILG, customs, PDEA, BIR, and LTO. These people will be flying over to Davao.
Duterte, on Saturday night, met with incoming Senator Manny Pacquiao, Senator Allan Cayetano, and incoming presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza.
So far, Duterte has appointed Carlos Dominguez III to the Department of Finance; Perfecto Yasay Jr. , Department of Foreign Affairs; Vitaliano Aguirre II, Department of Justice; Mark Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways; Manny Piñol, Department of Agriculture; lawyers Silvestre Bello III, Department of Labor and Employment; Salvador Panelo as the presidential spokesperson; and Salvador Medialdea as the executive secretary.

He has also named his most trusted lieutenant, outgoing Mayor Leoncio B. Evasco Jr. of Maribojoc, Bohol, as his secretary to the Cabinet.

Evasco, aside from being Duterte’s campaign manager during the presidential election, also served as Duterte’s top official during his stint as mayor before eventually running for an elective post in his hometown.

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