Marcos waiting for Marcoleta, Carlos to pick gov't post where they'll be 'most useful'

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2022 03:25 PM

This composite image shows then Senate candidate Rodante Marcoleta at a miting de avance on May 7, 2022, and professor Clarita Carlos during a forum in Quezon City on Feb. 4, 2020. Fernando G. Sepe Jr. and Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
This composite image shows then Senate candidate Rodante Marcoleta at a miting de avance on May 7, 2022, and professor Clarita Carlos during a forum in Quezon City on Feb. 4, 2020. Fernando G. Sepe Jr. and Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday said he was still waiting for House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta and retired Professor Clarita Carlos to say with which government post they could be "most useful."

Marcos said he "always asks" potential appointees the question, "Where do you feel the most useful?" before deciding where to place them in his incoming administration.

"I asked the same question to Ka Dante Marcoleta and I'm still waiting for his answer," he said in a press conference, where only 3 networks were invited.

"The Propesora, we have been in consultation with her. We are asking her, where do you feel you can be most of help? And we are still waiting for her answer," he added, referring to Carlos.

Marcoleta was part of Marcos's 2022 Senate slate before he withdrew his candidacy. The move exempts him from the ban on appointing losing candidates to government posts up to one year after election day, a poll official earlier said. 

He is also known for being one of the lawmakers who pushed to deny ABS-CBN of a fresh broadcast franchise in 2020.

"Definitely with his legal prowess, he will be of great use to us," Marcos said of Marcoleta. 

Carlos, on the other hand, is the Executive Director of the Center for Political and Democratic Reform Inc, a non-government and non-profit think tank.

She was a panelist in the lone debate Marcos attended in the run-up to the May 9 elections.

In an earlier interview, she said that Marcos should accept all the military and police atrocities committed during the reign of his father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. 

"It’s not anything contrived or imagined. Ang dami kong colleagues, classmates sa UP, they just disappeared," she said.

"Their parents could not even grieve properly. So tanggapin mo ‘yan. Then make a categorical declaration [that] ‘these things will not happen in my administration.’ How difficult is it to say that?"

In 2016, Carlos slammed groups that have been calling for the exhumation of Marcos Sr's body from the heroes’ cemetery, saying that a wrong cannot be corrected by another wrong.

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Marcos said he has yet to choose his Solicitor General, but noted that he is "lucky" as "some of the legal luminaries have expressed their willingness to join the government."

In the same press conference, Marcos said he was eyeing the following Cabinet members. 

- Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno as finance secretary 
- SMC Tollways CEO Manuel Bonoan as public works secretary
- Former University of the Philippines President Fred Pascual as trade secretary
- Former Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo as special assistant to the president

Marcos has yet to choose heads for revenue-generating agencies Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Marcos said he has "been very careful in choosing" his economic team.

"It's still down to jobs, to the increasing prices, to commodities, some relief for the business community," he said.

"I'm using the time between now and first of July to plan, to talk to everybody na, 'Ito ang plano para nagkakaintindihan tayo na ito ang gagawin,'" he said.

(This is the plan so we know what to do.)

"I really want to hit the ground running on the beginning of the term. I also want to have a very clear understanding of all the Cabinet secretaries and the legislature," he said.

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