11 Cabinet members re-appointed, sworn with new executive secretary

RE-APPOINTED CABINET MEMBERS. President Marcos Jr. swears in re-appointed Cabinet members and new Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin

By Claire Morales True

MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has re-appointed and swore in 11 Cabinet members bypassed by the Commission on Elections and immediately administered their oath of office.

This as Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles has resigned due to medical reasons along with Chairman Jose Calida of the Commission on Audit who was not re-appointed like Information Technology and Communications Secretary Ivan John Enrile Uy, a lawyer and information technology expert. Secretary Uy, however, was re-appointed later to his post after the 10 Cabinet members were first re-appointed and sworn in.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Hubert Guevarra said there still no decision who would replace Cruz-Angeles at press time but the names of lawyer Mike Toledo, a former press undersecretary, and Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez, a seasoned broadcaster and former DZRH general manager, have been floated.

The reappointed Cabinet members were led by Finance Secretary Benjamin Estoista Diokno, Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Manligas Bonoan and Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Espinosa Pascual.

Others re-appointed were:

  • Erwin Teshiba Tulfo – Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development
  • Jaime Jimenez Bautista – Secretary of the Department of Transportation
  • Renato Umali Solidum Jr. – Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology
  • Raphael Perpetuo Mercado Lotilla – Secretary of the Department of Energy
  • Maria Susana Vasquez Ople – Secretary of the Department of Migrant Workers
  • Arsenio Molina Balisacan – Secretary of the National Economic Development Authority
  • Jose Rizalino Larion Acuzar – Secretary of the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development

Former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin also took his oath as Marcos Jr.’s new Executive Secretary in place of longtime Marcos aide and lawyer Victor Dayrit Rodriguez who reportedly got the ire of the President due to his role in a botched order to importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar.

After the oath-taking, Marcos  presided over a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang. He was flanked by Bersamin and Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.

Rodriguez resigned as executive secretary, saying he wanted to devote more time to his family.

After he resigned in September, Rodriguez said he would instead work as the Presidential Chief of Staff (COS), a position which, however, was not created and not given to him.

Bersamin later said Rodriguez is no longer part of the Marcos administration since the supposed Administrative Order No. 1 that designated Rodriguez as presidential chief of staff has not been officially issued.