Duterte tells businessmen he’ ll kick out somebody from the Cabinet next week: I’m tired of delays in land conversion!
Another Cabinet member is expected to get the axe next week.
This was revealed by President Rodrigo Duterte in a private meeting with business leaders in Malacanang Wednesday night, April 3.
A Politiko source told the business leaders he was going to fire somebody next week because he was fed up with the delays in the application for land conversion.
Although Duterte did not name the next casualty in his Cabinet, the source said he was alluding to Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones who was the point man in Duterte’s desire to streamline the conversion of agricultural to commercial land to 30 days from the usual two to three years.
Castriciones was conspicuously absent during the Cabinet meeting last Monday, April 1. The source said his aides claimed he was feeling under the weather.
Last February, Duterte revealed that he walked out of a Cabinet meeting in a huff while Castriciones was in the middle of making a long-winded presentation on the land conversion process.
“In the land conversion, it took two years, that includes corruption, where the applicant keeps on coming back,” he said.
Speaking at an oath-taking of government officials in Malacañang, the President said he left the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday night during a discussion of the land use conversion process.
“If that is red tape or black tape… I cut them. ‘I would not like to be a part of this briefing,’’ said Duterte who cited oneapplication for land conversion which had been pending with the National Economic and Development Authority for 25 years.
Castriciones was appointed DAR Secretary in April 2018 after the Commission on Appointments snubbed his predecessor Rafael Mariano Castriciones used to be an undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. He was purged from office after he and fellow DILG undersecretaries Jesus Hinlo, and Emilie Padilla successfully lobbied for the firing of their boss, former Interior Secretary Mike Sueno, who was spectacularly fired by Duterte during a Cabinet meeting in April 2017 due to his purchase of overpriced fire trucks from Austria.