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Acting DSWD boss Orogo is member of Duterte’s ‘Marco Polo 15’

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Acting Social Welfare Secretary Virginia Nazarea “Gee Ailes” Orogo is a member of the so-called “Marco Polo 15,” a group of professionals, politicians and civic leaders who met at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City to urge then Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to seek the presidency in 2014.

Orogo is also a stalwart of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC), a frontliner of Duterte’s campaign promise to shift to a Federal system of government. Marco Polo 15 is the core of MRRD-NECC.

A former colleague of Orogo at the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) confirmed that the DSWD acting secretary “is close to Duterte.”

Orogo was appointed undersecretary for special concerns at the DSWD in 2016.

Since then, Orogo has been giving lectures on Federalism according to the vision of the MRRD-NECC , which is “to help President Duterte establish a Federal system of government, establish new politics and end the monopolistic control of government based in Manila.”

Among President Duterte’s first appointees to his government were members of Marco Polo 15 and the MRRD-NECC.

Acting Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castrionnes is also one of Marco Polo 15. He is the national president of MRRD-NECC.

Other members of Marco Polo 15/MRRD-NECC who have been appointed by President Duterte include: DAR undersecretary Emily Padilla, Land Bank director JV Hinlo and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno.

Sueno lost his job at the DILG last year reportedly after an infighting with his undersecretaries and fellow Marco Polo 15 associates Castricciones, Padilla and Hinlo.