DAVAO CITY, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday said he has not yet spoken to either Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares or Justice Secretary Leila de Lima about their career plans following their nomination to become chief justice.
Asked about his thoughts on the current roster of nominees and applicants, Aquino said: "At the end of the day, kung ano ang isu-submit sa akin ng JBC (Judicial and Bar Council), 'yun lang ang ii-endorse ko."
President Aquino also said he is satisfied with the work of Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr. as chair of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, dousing rumors that he is allegedly eyeing graduating Senator Ping Lacson to assume the post.
Aquino cited Philippine National Police statistics, which he said showed a drop in crime incidents.
When asked if Energy Secretary Rene Almendras will indeed replace Julia Abad as head of the Presidential Management Staff, the President said: "Wait until I make the announcement. Basta at the end of the day, don't forget that a lot of the people who have joined me in the Cabinet are people who gave up very lucrative jobs with very, 'di ba, parang infinitesimal hassles in the private sector."
"Dito, 'di ba, para bang bibigyan ka na ng kapirangkot na sweldo, lahat ng kritisismo at minsan naapektuhan pati 'yung mga anak -- meaning gradeschool ha -- na parang ano ba ang pakinabang nila doon except love of country? So at any point in time when they say that they want to go back to where they were, obviously I'd say thank you to them," he added.
"But I will also endeavor to keep the ones who have been performing within the Cabinet. But it has to be a realistic expectation. But a lot of them really have a lot of potentials with a lot less hassles," Aquino said.