President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is taking all the heat on the widespread criticism which greeted his first batch of appointees in his Cabinet.
In a report by MindaNews’ Antonio Colina IV, Duterte said: “I never consulted anybody.
They (search and selection cluster members) just have to go over kung kailan sila pinanganak (when is their birthday), track record.”
Duterte said that he listened to his six-man transition committee but ” I decide and I do not take into consideration friendship.”
Duterte reiterated that “my loyalty to you as a friend ends where my loyalty to my country begins.”
Duterte has promised in his campaign for change that he would only appoint the best and the brightest in allusion to the technocrats that filled the Cabinet of his idol former President Ferdinand Marcos.
So far, his appointees have been underwhelming.
His decision to select Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar as Public Works Secretary and Ampatuan lawyer Salvador Panel as Presidential Spokesperson have so far been most widely panned.
His appointment of former executives of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has also been sharply criticized namely former Manila International Airport Authority Gen. Manager Alfonso Cusi, former Justice Undersecretary Jose Calida as Solicitor-General, former Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon as National Security Adviser, and Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA) chief Andrea Domingo as head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Duterte’s initial picks have been mostly been a variation of the KKK which in his case stands for Katropa, Kaeskewla, Komunista – his Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez is his boyhood friend; his Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay is his former roommate; his Transportation and Communication Secretary Art Tugade is his law school classmate; and he has allocated several cabinet positions to his former college professor Joma Sison and his comrades in the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Duterte defended his choices as brilliant managers in their own right as he explained his personal selection process.
“For example, DOH (Department of Health), just because it is health matter doesn’t mean I have to appoint a doctor. Lahat ay managerial, that’s why, you need brilliant people. Managerial lahat yan,” said Duterte.
Duterte said a person could be “an expert on this machine and this equipment” but he or she must be able to know how to manage people and a government office.
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