Reds nominate 4 women for Duterte Cabinet
It's not going to be an "old boys club" for the Cabinet of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte.
Speaking to reporters in Davao City, Duterte first said in jest: "We have women in Cabinet. You let her out and have fun."
He later clarified that four women were among at least 10 individuals nominated by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to top government posts.
Duterte earlier gave the CPP free hand in choosing officials for four government departments: the departments of Agrarian Reform, Environment and Natural Resources, Labor and Employment, and Social Welfare and Development.
Duterte said the CPP has created an "impressive" shortlist of nominees, who are mostly from the University of the Philippines (UP). He said he received the shortlist Wednesday night, and has already forwarded it to the Cabinet screening committee.
The presumptive president said he involved the CPP in the process of forming the new government with the aim of achieving genuine peace in the country.
"I want a peaceful country. I hope that by the time I step down as President, wala na iyung Left pati Right -- wala na iyung Moro pati lumad o Kristyano. Then we can build a nation for the next generation in peace," he said.
READ: Cabinet offer to CPP a 'stroke of genius' - analyst
Aside from those nominated by the CPP, Duterte has drawn Cabinet members from his kababayans in the south, his classmates from San Beda College of Law, and friends who actively supported him in his presidential campaign.
So far, he has named a predominantly male Cabinet, with only one woman, Andrea Domingo, being tapped to head the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Majority of his 15 would-be appointees to executive branch offices are senior citizens, with only Mark Villar below 50.
Political analysts have urged Duterte to open up Cabinet posts to women and the youth.
Incoming justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, meanwhile, defended Duterte's Cabinet choices, telling critics it may be too early to judge his picks.
Outgoing Senator Pia Cayetano, who will be part of Duterte's selection committee for Cabinet members, has also guaranteed that the incoming administration will be gender-balanced.
READ: Duterte eyes gender-balanced Cabinet, looks for lady leaders