|New PDEA chief Arturo Cacdac -- Photo courtesy of Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Retired police general Arturo Cacdac took his oath for the second time, this time before President Aquino.
Cacdac first took his oath last Tuesday before Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Cacdac’s second oath-taking is for ceremonial purposes.
“The first one is necessary [for him] to step into office immediately. This one is for ceremonial. Syempre, it’s an honor to be sworn before the President… To enable one to immediately step into office, you have to be sworn in by a government official who is authorized to administer oath,” Lacierda said.
Aquino swore in Cacdac, along with new DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
The orders for Cacdac is to ensure the enforcement of laws against illegal drugs and drug trafficking.
|DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya -- Photo courtesy of Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
“It’s very basic that one who assumes office with respect to the drug enforcement agency should perform those tasks to ensure that drug-trafficking is eliminated in this country,” Lacierda said.
Malacañang stood by its earlier announcement that Cacdac’s predecessor, Jose Gutierrez, had resigned despite reports that Gutierrez was initially surprised that he was being replaced.
Lacierda said this was the information that came from the Office of the Executive Secretary.
Asked about the seeming trend of sacked PDEA officials not being informed beforehand of their fate, Lacierda said he would ask the Office of Executive Secretary.
Earlier, ex-PDEA deputy director general Carlos Gadapan was also taken by surprise when he was relieved from his post for “loss of confidence.”
“I don’t know the process by which the announcements are done. Our duty is to make official announcements only. As to those facts and circumstances, I am not privy to that so let me just ask [about] the changes in PDEA,” he said.
Asked if the Palace believes the allegations of Gadapan against Gutierrez, Lacierda said, “He shouldn’t conclude that way… Our information that we got was that Director General Gutierrez resigned. So he cannot make that jump.”
Lacierda was also grilled about the delay of information on Cacdac’s appointment and first oath-taking.
“The general rule is we are ahead. The protocol is that we are given the announcement ahead of time. As to this point, hindi ko alam because I was in several meetings that day. That’ something that we will try to minimize,” he said.