Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Review of Mayor Rody Duterte's cabinet appointments

Let's review Duterte's recent appointments to his Cabinet.

1. Former Defense secretary Gibo Teodoro re-assuming his old post. Though this is nothing new, many people see this as a good appointment because Teodoro is a highly intelligent man, principled and knows how the game is played there. Time for a civilian to head this department once more. He is expected to demolish the mafia controlling this department.

2. Andrea Domingo as PAGCOR chairman---Domingo was involved in that big-time PEA-AMARI deal, a scandal which the father of Duterte's vice presidential partner Senator Alan Peter Cayetano was also involved in. Why appoint someone with this kind of political baggage in a highly sensitive post?

3. Manny Pinol as Agriculture secretary---Pinol knows the state of the agricultural sector in the country. Though a politician, many people expect Pinol to do the right thing. Good appointment.

4. Jesus Dureza as peace adviser---Good choice because Dureza is really this country's expert in this field.

5. Sonny Dominguez as Finance secretary---If the goal is to "spread the love" so to speak in the provinces, then, Dominguez is a good replacement to Cesar Purisima. Highly respected by the business community, even by foreign investors.

However, if the goal of this appointment is to just maintain the country's economic progress, fine. Yet, if the goal is for this economy to benefit the people, this appointment is a disappointment.

The Dominguez Economic Agenda is a placebo, not a real medicine that would cure the economic ills of 30 million hungry and poor Filipinos. It benefits miners like him. It is intended to tell the business community that it is "business as usual"--nothing to worry about. It is a statement to the community that business risks under a Duterte administration are lower than previous fears show.

6. Peter Laurel as Deped secretary? Laurel is the president of Lyceum University. During his stint as president, students suffered from higher priced tuition fees. This guy is a businessman, not an educator. What we need at the helm is someone who would not represent the interests of private school owners.

7.  Mark Villar at DPWH----For six long years, the DPWH was kept pristine by a professional named Singson at the helm. Now, you appointed a politician there, with obvious conflict of interest because his family's business is specifically public works, infrastructure and real estate. Very bad appointment. Likewise, it exposed the weakness of Duterte as a leader. This appointment show him as a compromiser. He has a tendency to confuse his mission with political compromises.

8. Alan Peter Cayetano as Foreign Affairs or Justice secretary--- I really don't know why Cayetano is being offered a foreign affairs post. Is it a sign for him to just "back out" of the Cabinet? Was it a favor asked by Cayetano? WHY DFA? Still figuring out if this is a right appointment. Probably, Duterte sees Cayetano as a foreigner, anak araw? If Cayetano accepts this, then, it's goodbye to his presidential ambitions come 2022.

If Cayetano chooses the Justice portfolio, expect him to squeeze every publicity juice out of this post to propel him to the presidency in 2022.

9. Arnel Tugade as DOTC secretary---Tugade is an honest man. He is reliable and intelligent. He would do well there.

10. Salvador Panelo as spokesperson---Probably the post was given to Panelo to prepare him for a senatorial run in 2019. I don't remember how many times Panelo ran and lost a Senate bid. Public trust in Panelo remains sketchy.

11. Silvestre Bello III as chief peace negotiator--- good choice.

How I wish Duterte appoints these people at the following departments or bureaus:

1. Atty. Siegfred Mison either as Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration just so he can continue his reforms there or at the Bureau of Customs.

2. Atty. Alex Lacson at the DPED, so that he can fix the problems of the education sector there.

3. Amina Rasul as part of the OPAPP or become head of the OPAPP. She is a nice partner to Jesus Dureza in this aspect.

4. Ariel Nepomuceno at the National Food Authority (NFA). This guy is a miracle worker and a hard worker as well. He would do good at NFA.

5. Jun Palafox at either DPWH or MMDA chairman.

6. Suansing at the LTO once more. Suansing has innovative ideas on how to further improve the transport sector. He must be given another chance.

7. Retain Berberabe at PAGIBIG.

8. Retain the current DOH secretary. She is very effective.

9. Appoint an effective and seasoned media professional at the Office of the Press secretary, particularly the post that manages PTV4 and media outlets. The media would play a very crucial role in this administration. If asked, I am willing to do it.