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ES Medialdea goes on extended leave: Is Palace looking for new ‘little president’?

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Lost in the speculation over President Rodrigo Duterte’s state of health are rumors in Malacanang on the reason for the extended absence of his friend, Executive Secretary Salvador “Bingbong” Medialdea.

At least two Politiko sources confirmed that Medialdea has been absent from his office for days, with no definite word on his return.

Medialdea was last seen in public at the Office of the Solicitor General’s 116th anniversary at Pasay City on June 8, when he represented President Rodrigo Duterte who was in Mindanao at that time.

Medialdea’s absence has fueled talk that the President might look for a new “little president” soon if Medialdea decides to quit as Executive Secretary.

The 52-year old lawyer is the son of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Leo D. Medialdea, who served under the Aquino administration from 1988 to 1992. He was born in Manila but grew up in Davao as a childhood friend of the much older Duterte.

After graduating from the San Beda College of Law, Medialdea joined Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRA) Law Offices and then moved on to the Ponce Enrile Cayetano Bautista Picazo & Reyes (Pecabar) Law Office.

He later formed his own law firm, Medialdea Ata Bello Guevarra and Suarez (MABGS).