KORONADAL CITY — Four leaders from the provinces of (North) Cotabato, Maguindanao and South Cotabato were among the favored faces of the new cabinet of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Foremost among the four was incoming Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol who, after his appointment was made public, immediately embarked on “Biyaheng Bukid” across the archipelago.
Former South Cotabato Gov. Esmael “Mike” Sueno will head the Department of Interior and Local Government, an important Cabinet post which has direct supervision over local government units, the Philippine National Police and its attached agencies.
Named Defense Secretary is retired Army Scout Ranger Gen. Miguel Delfin Lorenzana, and Ricardo Jalad who was named chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), are both from Parang, Maguindanao.
Ex-seminarians from the Cotabato Archdiocesan Seminary and priests of the Archdiocese of Cotabato are also plucked as among cabinet members. Jalad is an ex-seminarian of the Archdiocese of Cotabato seminary.
From Midsayap in North Cotabato comes the named Bureau of Immigration chief, retired Police Chief Supt. Jaime Morente, formerly acting PNP Director for Personnel and Records Management before he retired.
Retired police Director Isidro Lapeña, who served as Cotabato City police director in early 1990s, was named Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director.
However, no Muslim or member of Indigenous Peoples has been named in Duterte’s Cabinet as of yet.
Duterte designated retired Special Action Force Chief Catalino Cuy who will supervise the national police.
As DILG secretary, Sueno said Duterte has “three specific marching orders for me.” He said the President wanted to put a stop to local government officials’ practice of holding seminars, conferences and the like outside the province they belonged.
“Duterte also wanted a total stop to ‘Lakbay-Aral’ and study how to solve the problem of misuse of intelligence funds of LGUs. (PNA)
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