Friday, June 18, 2010

Aquino's Cabinet picks

President Noynoy Aquino says his present communication group will replace the Office of the Press Secretary. Ricky Carandang, ANC anchorperson and a highly respected member of the Philippine media is being touted as the head of the communication group so therefore, Carandang is probably our new Press secretary.

Manolo Quezon is also said to be the inaugural spokesperson but it is unknown what post will the historian/blogger/columnist and TV host will get under the Aquino administration. His friends and colleagues over at the Black and White Movement have already been posted in several posts, foremost of which is Atty. Ed Lacierda who now will act as Presidential spokesperson. Leah Navarro, a leading light in the anti-Arroyo movement, is reportedly offered the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) post. Vic "Emong" Emano was Aquino's New Media head and Emong's fate is still unknown.

There are strong indications that the highly creative and effective Maria Montelibano of the Samar group will be appointed as head of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA). This is a promotion for Montelibano who was very effective in handling Aquino's propaganda machinery during the elections. Montelibano used to head Malacanang RTV during the time of Cory and once helped in crafting the Aquino communications plan.

Cesar Purisima, one of Aquino's contributors, is also certain to get the Trade portfolio (or even the Finance?) while Jesse Robredo of the Kaya Natin Movement and a long-time mayor of Naga City (Ramon Magsaysay awardee) will head the DILG, which is really the best pick for the job.

Robredo does not have any presidential ambitions so he will probably devote all of his time developing and enhancing the local government structure. This will be best for the country.

Dingky Soliman, as previously announced, will re-assume her DSWD post, while Teresita Deles, will be the administration's presidential peace adviser, a post which she is really accustomed to. Deles used to be the presidential anti-poverty commissioner under Arroyo.

Romulo is said to be among 4 contenders for the Foreign affairs post. A group composed of Liberal party members led by chairman emeritus Jovito Salonga is said to be campaigning for Hilario Davide, the Chief Justice popular for that very controversial decision legitimizing the administration of Arroyo.

Another critical post, the Department of Tourism has at least five names, including that of Jim Paredes of the APO Hiking Society and Andy Bautista, a highly respected name in the Tourism industry.

Noli de Castro, reports say, has been offered a post in the Aquino administration. He declined and said that he is coming back (with a vengeance) to broadcasting. Kudos to Kabayan!

Outgoing PMS chief Len Bautista-Horn says there are about 50,000 posts that would be left vacant come June 30, 10% of these are executive posts. Aquino and the search committee must be extremely cautious in effecting changes especially in the critical departments. As early as now, there are several reports which I got from highly placed sources saying that there are "long-time" operators angling for several posts in some agencies of government. The search committee must be very very circumspect in reviewing the records of these operators.

Vice president Jojo Binay really prefers the DILG posts for obvious reasons--he wants to institutionalize what he did in Makati. And one of those things he wants is simply institutionalize his reported penchant for condominium units. Rumours say that Binay reportedly ask for several condo units from developers in exchange for permits. How true?

There is a group, some coffee shop habitues say, that is gathering graft cases against Binay.