President Rodrigo Duterte shot down the possibility of having Vice President Leni Robredo take over the position of Social Welfare secretary after it was vacated with the recent rejection of Judy Taguiwalo by the powerful Commission on Appointments.
Asked by reporters on the possibility of having Robredo, the former housing secretary, to take over the Social Welfare portfolio, the President on Monday night responded with a resounding “no” on the suggestion. He did not clarify.
Duterte, however, said that he had asked an incumbent senator once if “she” could be the next DSWD chief.
The President likewise offered in jest the position of DSWD secretary to popular ABS-CBN broadcaster Doris Bigornia—who were among the reporters present during the roundtable held at Malacañang Park, a few steps from his Bahay Pagbabago home at the Pasig riverbanks.
The President said he will replace Taguiwalo with someone who will “avoid corruption” and “work sincerely” for the post.
Robredo’s name floated as one of the possible contenders for DSWD chief after one of his die-hard supporters, the former sex guru now Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson included her in an online poll, which the Vice President topped.
Uson later on accused the Vice President of employing trolls to win the online poll.
Duterte and Robredo had a falling out after the Vice President was disallowed to attend Cabinet meetings, following her criticisms over the Presidnet’s bloody drug war.
In the same media interview, the President said that he intends to work around the “legally-feasible” limits of the law to have the current military chief, General Eduardo Año within his turf.
While Año cannot assume a post yet due to one-year appointment ban, Duterte said that he can make him his senior aide at the Office of the President or even an undersecretary at the Interior Department, if this is possible.
“I need his services. Año would be under me. I would make him a senior aide of the Office of the President or whatever. Or undersecretary if that is legally feasible. Ilagay ko lang siya undersecretary but he performs as officer-in-charge,” Duterte said.
“It’s Año. But he has a mission. Sabi ko, “Tapusin mo muna ‘yung Marawi then I want you to go to the DILG,” he added.
Current Interior Officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy will remain in his post as DILG chief, until Ano’s one year restriction would be over, the President said.
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