Duterte won't keep Aquino secretaries

Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte Ted Aljibe, AFP

DAVAO - Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte is open to keeping some officials from the Aquino administration but none at the level of Cabinet secretary, his spokesman said Wednesday. 

Duterte's spokesman Peter Laviña said the Duterte transition team that will work with the one formed by the Aquino administration is now busy handing over certain tasks to people named as members of the Cabinet of the incoming administration.

One of those officials, Atty. Perfecto Yasay Jr., is already in Davao City to prepare for his incoming job as the country's top diplomat.

"The Foreign Secretary-designate, lawyer Perfecto 'Jun' Yasay arrived in Davao this morning. I will personally brief him on the numerous requests for the visit of Ambassadors and Embassy personnel from Manila. There were also requests that we receive briefings about the foreign policy, position or the platform of the incoming administration. We will help them brief the diplomatic community," said Laviña. 

Also in the same event, Laviña turned over to another campaign teammate a handful of job applications to various positions in the incoming administration.

He said the job of sorting the applications will eventually go to Atty. Salvador Medialdea, who was tapped by Duterte to be his Executive Secretary.

SCREENING

Laviña said all applicants, including those being eyed by Duterte to become part of his Cabinet, will go through the same screening process.

"Even if the Mayor has already named some of the proposed Cabinet members, they will still have to go through the same process. For example, we need copies of their CVs, bio-data. Kung wala, we have to ask them. Later on, we will need police, court and other clearances," he said. 

He said the Duterte transition team has already designated former police general Isidro Lapena to undertake background checks of applicants. He said Lapena, who worked with a volunteer security team during Duterte's campaign, will check on all potential appointees to see if they have pending cases.

Some of the applicants are still serving under the Aquino administration.

"Yes, we have been receiving proposals to retain, and I think the mayor has already made mention that he will retain if they are good performing," Laviña said. 

Laviña added that the incoming administration won't be vindictive, a trait sometimes being attributed to the Aquino government.

He said Mayor Duterte himself believes that there are people in the current administration who deserve to be retained.

"The Mayor mentioned about the economic team of the current administration, but hindi naman siguro the secretary level itself, marami kasi dyan are good undersecretary, assistant secretary, mga bureau heads, directors,'' he said.

''There are many who are performing good and there are others who are not given siguro enough opportunity to excel, di ba? said Lavina. 

However, he clarified that the incoming administration will take exception and will subject to evaluation those with pending cases.

DON'T PREJUDGE 

Laviña, meanwhile, appealed to the public not to judge those coming to Davao City to seek an audience with the presumptive president.

He said even people who are still part of the Aquino administration are coming to Davao City to greet the presumptive president. 

Laviña noted that many of the people coming to Davao City are perceived to be seeking jobs or favors, aside from greeting the presumptive president or extending their congratulations.

"If high members of the current administration would be visiting, it should be in the context of extending the greetings and congratulations. Hindi naman siguro to lobby. Baka ma-misconstrue ng mga tao na pumunta dito sa Davao para mag-seek ng favor o mag-lobby. I don't think that should be the case," he said. 

Laviña said the Office of City Mayor of Davao has already touched base with some people from Malacañang. 

"Mayor's office staff are already also in contact with the household, those who will check living quarters, the executive offices and other facilities and amenities inside Malacanang," he said. 

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