MANILA, Philippines - Newly appointed Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas will have no problem supervising local government units (LGUs). What he needs to focus on is the peace and order aspect of his mandate, said Justice Secretary Leila De Lima.
De Lima believes "tighter monitoring" is needed over the Philippine National Police (PNP), which is an attached agency of the department.
She welcomed Roxas' appointment as replacement of the late Secretary Jesse Robredo.
"I think walang nagulat dyan sa appointment na yan. It's a very logical choice, given the experience and given the character of Secretary Mar. I think he has the political acumen to really handle LGUs and yung they were really working very closely, sila noon din ni Sec. Jesse in terms of local governance.'
"Ang kailangan sigurong mag-focus din si Secretary Mar ay yung sa peace and order, sa law enforcement aspect. Sa local governance, I don't think he will have difficulties; kayang kaya niya yun. Doon sa law enforcement, there's a need for tighter monitoring of law enforcement agencies in terms of addressing nga criminality and the peace and order situation," she said.
Once Roxas is confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA), De Lima said she will ask for a meeting with him to discuss programs and initiatives between the DOJ and the DILG under Robredo's watch. Robredo died in a plane crash off Masbate last August 18.
"Yung mga pending namin noon ni Sec. Jesse... katulad nung mga creation ng joint task forces on anti-illegal mining and anti-illegal logging... pursuant to directives from the President himself to go after big fishes. Those were among the last topics na pinag-usapan namin ni Sec. Jesse. That was 2 days before the unfortunate accident (place crash)," she said.
De Lima also said she agreed with Roxas' move to bring his own team to the department.
"Dapat lang ang SILG (Sec. of Interior and Local Government) should be the one on top and the Undersecretaries should be men also of his confidence... important yan na trusted ang team niya lalo na napaka-critical ng mandato ng DILG," she said.