Duterte to appoint 400 new officials

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2016 01:58 PM

MANILA - The camp of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday guaranteed a "transparent, participative and democratic" process in appointing 400 new officials in top positions under the incoming administration.

Peter Laviña, a spokesperson for Duterte, said the selection process is crucial because these individuals will be tasked to help the next President fulfill his vow of genuine change.

He said Duterte's selection team will ensure that these political appointees are up to the job, and will not follow the poor example of their predecessors.

"Malaki ang hamon para sa darating na administrasyon lalong lalo nang tama na kailangan ng paradigm shift -- pagbabago sa ating sarili bago tayo maging effective sa pagbabago sa ating lipunan," Laviña told radio dzMM.

"Kailangan talaga ang makakasama ni Mayor sa Gabinete ay magiging modelo sa bawat departamento -- mayroong political will, ready to really serve the people. Hindi po iyung nangyari sa nakaraan na nasa pwesto na po, nagiging hari. Instead na manungkulan e nagiging slave po ang ating mamayan."

Laviña said they are giving priority to the composition of the economic team and Department of Foreign Affairs to dispel misgivings of the business sector and gain the trust of the international community.

READ: Duterte takes page from Justin Trudeau, eyes balanced Cabinet

NO INFLUENCE PEDDLING

He also guaranteed that the so-called "biggest government job fair" will be free of "influence peddling."

Laviña argued that Duterte does not have any "baggage of vested interest", because he refused financial donations from owners of big businesses during his poll campaign.

Duterte's transition team has formed sub-committees to sift through suggestions for the shortlist of candidates for the 400 positions.

Among these jobs are appointive positions for Cabinet secretaries, undersecretaries and assistant secretaries. These posts are part of more than 6,000 positions that will be left open by the outgoing Aquino administration.

Duterte, who had served as Davao mayor for two decades, will be sworn in as 16th Philippine President on June 30.

Laviña said that aside from the "simple" inauguration being planned in Manila, Duterte will also lead a ceremony to turn over the reigns of Davao City to his daughter, mayor-elect Sarah Duterte.

He also thanked the Aquino transition team helping the new administration prepare for assuming office.

SECURITY CONCERNS

A small team from Duterte's camp has also inspected the presidential quarters in Malacañang.

Earlier, Duterte said would rather shuttle between Davao and Manila rather than sleep with the "ghosts" in Malacañang.

READ: Duterte says he won't sleep with Palace 'ghosts'

Laviña said they are still deliberating on Duterte's living arrangements, especially since the Presidential Security Group has advised them that regular travel will pose security risks for the incoming president.

READ: Duterte's partner wants to bring simplicity to Malacanang