MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Benigno Aquino III administered the oath of office to outgoing Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla as the new secretary of the Department of Energy and Jose Rene Almendras as Secretary to the Cabinet on Sunday.
The oath-taking took place at the departure lounge of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 before the President left for Laos to attend the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit.
In an interview with radio dzMM after the oath-taking, Petilla said he cannot promise anything yet as to what he is planning to do with the Energy Department.
However, he vowed he will do the best he can to solve the country’s energy problems, particularly the power outages in Visayas and Mindanao.
Petilla said he will need to take a grasp first of the whole situation on the power sector on where the country is and it is headed before making any priorities but he will definitely continue on Almendras' projects.
Almendras, for his part, said his position is a staff position not a line position in the Cabinet. He also said he will be taking orders from the President. – from reports by Dexter Ganibe, dzMM; and Gretchen Malalad, ABS-CBN News