How Pernia found out Duterte chose him for NEDA

Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2016 09:38 PM

MANILA - A text message.

That's how Ernesto Pernia, professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines School of Economics, found out that he was chosen as socio-economic planning secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director-general by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Pernia on Friday said Duterte's executive assistant Christopher “Bong” Go sent him a text message asking if he was interested in joining the next administration as NEDA chief.

After giving a one-word reply, Pernia was named socio-economic planning secretary.

“The first text was, ‘Are you interested in joining the Cabinet sa NEDA?’ Sabi ko, ‘Yes.’ Then the following text was when he [Duterte] mentioned it at a press conference, and the next day, nabasa ko ulit ‘yung text ni Bong Go, he said, ‘Na-announce na ‘yung appointment mo sa NEDA.’ And that was it,” Pernia told dzMM.

The 72-year-old Pernia was a former university lecturer and lead economist at the Economics and Research Department of the Asian Development Bank from 1999 to 2003.

READ: Pernia appointed NEDA chief 

He said his appointment to the Cabinet was in line with Duterte's "unorthodox" style of leadership.

He said other Cabinet members--Benjamin Diokno, Leonor Briones, and Fortunato Dela Peña--found out about their respective appointments when they were invited to fly to Davao for the first Cabinet meeting.