Aguirre defends Duterte's Cabinet picks

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2016 12:49 PM

The incoming justice secretary has defended presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte's choices for his Cabinet officials, telling critics it may be too early to judge his picks.

READ: Analysts: Where are the women, youth in Duterte's Cabinet?

Vitaliano Aguirre, the anointed justice chief, has hit back at critics who said that the composition of Duterte cabinet was unlike Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's, contrary to what was promised.

"Di pa naman siya tapos," he told ANC's Headstart on Tuesday.

So far, Duterte has named a predominantly male Cabinet, with only one woman nabbing a seat. Andrea Domingo was tapped to head the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

READ: Duterte Cabinet a 'team of rivals': analyst

Aguirre also reacted to observations that most were old faces in the political arena and have held positions in past administrations.

Had Gibo Teodoro or Peter Laurel accepted the portfolios, he said, they would have been the new faces.

Teodoro said he is still considering the offer to be the Secretary of National Defense, but Laurel has declined the offer to be Secretary of Education, according to Duterte.

To criticisms on appointments of several people who has served under former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fidel V. Ramos, Aguirre answered that it is only natural that Duterte appoints those he trusts and believes are capable.

"If you are the appointing authority, di mo maaalis yun e. you will appoint only people you know and ones that you trust," he said.

"Napakahirap namang alisin mo muna yung mga kaibigan mo, ‘wag muna kayo dyan, and then I’ll go find somewhere’. Lalong di ka makakakuha ng magaling na tao; samantalang ito kilala mo na," he added.

Aguirre then appealed to the people to give Duterte a chance to prove himself as he has already been elected into Malacañang.

"Tulungan natin siya because it’s very hard for him to succeed without our help," he said.