TV anchor, one more leftist, 2 ex-army, Duterte’s aide join Cabinet

DAVAO CITY — A television news anchor, a leader of the progressive left and two ex-military generals are the familiar faces joining the would-be Cabinet of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte introduced on Thursday night’s press conference ABC 5 television anchor Martin Andanar as the Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO); former Anakpawis Representative and progressive left Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) labor leader Joel Maglungsod as Undersecretary in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), former Davao Region Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Edgar Galvante for the Land Transportation Office (LTO); former Army brigade commander in Davao and Task Force Davao commander Rodolfo del Rosario as Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense–Civil Retirees Affairs, whose last stint in government was being the head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRMMC).

Duterte also named his executive assistant Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as his presidential special assistant and chief of the Presidential Management Staff (PMS). He also pointed out that Atty. Salvador Panelo will remain as Presidential Spokesperson amid some criticisms for choosing him.

“Panelo is good. He can be abrasive in his language sometimes,” Duterte told reporters on Thursday night press conference at the Presidential Guest House located at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) depot in Panacan.

Andanar, Maglungsod, Del Rosario, Galvante and Go are the newest addition to the Duterte would-be Cabinet.

Duterte said he is waiting for someone who has been living in the United States to come home to formally introduce him to head another department.

“So we are fine in government,” pointing to Maglungsod sitting beside the two ex-army generals that he jokingly introduced a member of the New People’s Army (NPA). At the time when Maglungsod was active in the streets fighting for the rights of the laborers, Galvante and Del Rosario were also heading the police and army brigade, respectively.

Duterte disclosed that he offered former Navy Officer Wilfredo Wong a post but he was saddened when the offer was declined. He said he had really wanted Wong to join his Cabinet.

Duterte also disclosed he will be offering the National Anti-Poverty Commission to a woman from the progressive left.

He also assured the Moro with a Cabinet level position only that he is waiting for some dynamics in their respective areas.

Andanar, who said he was surprised of the offer, has yet to ask permission from his bosses in ABC 5. He said he answered to an invitation to see Duterte on Thursday; then he was offered the position.

Although he was one of the nominees of the National Democratic Front (NDF), Maglungsod said he did not expect Duterte to choose him. On marching orders, Maglungsod said nothing was said but he will be taking as priority the pronouncement of Duterte in the campaign about the end to contractualization.

He said he would work towards the scrapping of Department Order 18-A which allowed job contractualization, the PHP2,000 pension hike for senior citizens, security of tenure, right to organize union, other problems of the labor sector including the wage hike.

But he said, “Tingnan natin kung ano ang doable (Let’s see what’s doable).”

On the other hand, Duterte said Galvante will instill discipline and fix LTO, which he described as “pain in the ass, tainted with greed of corruption, and graft-ridden agency” that until now it cannot even release vehicle plates and driving licenses even if people have paid the required fees. Lilian Mellejor/PNA/