Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Next DILG Secretary

President Aquino will announce his choice for the new interior and secretary before he leaves for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Russia next week.

We saw posted in Facebook last week a news item about Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson confirming his interest in the position of DILG secretary

A closer look at the news item, however, showed that the date was June 2012 after President Aquino announced that two senators are being eyed for a cabinet position after their elected term expires in June 2013.

When asked if they were Lacson and Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Aquino replied, ““Those two in particular.”

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama  made his own proposal, saying former tourism secretary Robert “Ace” Durano would be a suitable DILG secretary.

He said Durano proved his management capabilities during his time as tourism secretary.

Durano also has a background in local governance being a former congressman of Cebu’s 5th district, Rama added.

Among the nominees for the DILG post were Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Abaya is being lobbied by Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas while President Benigno Aquino III reportedly has  eyes set on Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Like Robredo, Rama said the next DILG Secretary should have occupied a local elective position or has ties with the academe with exemplary management capabilities.

“If the next DILG secretary has no exposure with local government units he will have  a hard time,” he said.

Rama said Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim is another likely candidate due to his previous stint as DILG secretary.

As chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC), Rama said he can campaign for Durano’s candidacy.

He said he tried but was unable to contact Energy  Secretary Rene Almendras and Budget Secretary Buth Abad about his suggestion.

Robredo, whose appointment as DILG secretary was made only in June 2011 after almost a year as acting secretary (he was never confirmed by the Commission on Appointments ) was asked if he thought he still enjoyed the trust and confidence of the President and he said,”Yes.”

It is understandable that political groups would want dominion over DILG because not only does it have supervision over the Philippine National Police but also the local government units.

The LGUs are composed of 79 provinces, 38 cities and Metro Manila. It’s a potent political network.

Balay is said to be concerned that if Lacson makes good at the DILG, especially in the matter of peace and order, he would think of running again for president in 2016 and would be a stumbling block to Roxas presidential bid.

Just a thought: if Lacson makes good in the DILG, would that not be good for the country? Why would the peace and order situation in the country be held hostage by the presidential ambition of one politician?

One legitimate observation about Lacson, however, is that his rigid style of leadership may not sit well with local politicians.

Even if Lacson would not join the presidential race in 2016, he is seen as more leaning towards the Samar faction than Balay. If that’s the case, Balay would be worried that the LGU network would be used for Binay instead of them using it for Roxas.

Two factions in President Aquino’s Cabinet—dubbed the “Balay” and “Samar” groups, based on their area of operations during the 2010 presidential campaign—are competing to have their candidates fill in the DILG post.

Robredo’s successor would be the main agenda at the Aug. 29 meeting of the Liberal Party at its Balay headquarters in the home of Roxas, also LP president, in Cubao, Quezon City.

Aside from Abaya and Lim, also being considered were former Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca and Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

But sources said the emergence of Vice President Jejomar Binay of the Samar group as a potential successor of Robredo in the DILG has led some party members to call on Roxas “to step up to the plate and move to the DILG.”

The Samar group was Mr. Aquino’s campaign team on Samar Avenue in Quezon City.

In Cebu, a caravan held by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Community Investigative Support (CIS) to honor Robredo passed by major streets in Cebu and Mandaue cities yesterday afternoon.

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