MANILA, Philippines - Malacanan has "big shoes to fill" as it begins to search for Jesse Robredo's replacement at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the search will be handled soon though for now, the Palace would like to focus on paying its respects to Robredo.
Malacañang designated Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa as officer in charge of the DILG. "That would not be a priority right now. If and when the president will go through that, we will let you know."
Lacierda added: "Secretary Robredo is one of a kind. He has proven competence in governance."
Lacierda said that according to their allies in Congress, Robredo would have been confirmed by the bicameral Commission on Appointments. He welcomed reports that the CA will confirm Robredo posthumously.
"He was supposed to be confirmed but there was a necrological service for Congressman Sonny Escudero. I spoke to Sen. Frank Drilon and he also said the same thing - he would have been confirmed," he said.
Lacierda could not say if Malacañan had submitted Roboredo's papers for confirmation late.
"This is a period of mourning not blaming hindi po tama sa oras ta panahon na ito na yun ang ifocus," he added.
He said Robredo was an example of an official who could have been confirmed anytime. He noted the outpouring of admiration and respect.
During the early days of the Aquino administration, the DILG post was said to be eyed by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Earlier this year, Senator Panfilo Lacson expressed preference for the DILG portfolio once his senatorial term ends next year.