Marcos names 6 new officials including acting MMDA chief, military affairs adviser

Job Manahan and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 06:43 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2022 10:03 PM

Screengrab from RTVM
Screengrab from RTVM

MANILA (UPDATE)— President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has named the acting head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), his adviser for military affairs, and the director-general of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Malacañang announced on Wednesday. 

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos appointed Carlo Dimayuga as the acting chairperson of the MMDA, replacing lawyer Romando Artes. 

MMDA, who welcomed Dimayuga's appointment, said he graduated BS Civil Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas. He passed the Civil Engineering licensure examination in 1997. 

"The agency believes that with his instinctive understanding of operations and managerial perspective, he can steer MMDA towards delivering better basic services to the public,” said Baltazar Melgar, who heads the MMDA Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office.

Melgar served as the agency's officer-in-charge in July. 

Marcos also picked retired Police Brig, Gen. Roman "Popong" Felix as Secretary at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs (OPAMA).

Felix was head of the Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Office, and the Police Regional Office 1, according to Cruz-Angeles.

A member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) "Matikas" Class of 1983, Felix served as well in other units at the Philippine National Police's regional and national offices.

Retired Maj. Gen. Ariel Caculitan, meanwhile, will serve under Felix as OPAMA Undersecretary. According to Cruz-Angeles, the retired general had served the Philippine Marine Corps, where he became commandant, and the Philippine Navy. 

Caculitan belongs to the PMA "Makatao" Class of 1989.

Retired Gen. Isagani Nerez, meanwhile, was designated Undersecretary for Police Affairs at the OPAMA.

A lawyer, Nerez is a member of the PMA "Maharlika" Class of 1984 and has served in several units of the national police including the Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response and the directorate for Integrated Police Operations, Eastern Mindanao.

Nerez was the head of the Baguio City Police Office and of the Cordillera Police Regional Office, the Palace said.

The FDA portfolio, meanwhile, was given to Dr. Samuel Zacate, Marcos' lead physician during his bout with COVID-19 this year.

Dr. Samuel Zacate at Malacañang on Aug. 3. Photo courtesy of Dr. Zacate
Dr. Samuel Zacate at Malacañang on Aug. 3. Photo courtesy of Dr. Zacate

Zacate is currently a doctor at the Presidential Security Group and is a known health advocate, Cruz-Angeles said.

Lawyer Nesauro Firme has been designated at the Judicial and Bar Council. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Santo Tomas, and had also worked as an executive assistant at the MMDA. 

"Atty. Firme is a senior partner of Oliva Firme and Associates and a former faculty of the Colleges of Law of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and Jose Rizal University, respectively," Cruz-Angeles said.

The newly appointed officials took their oath of office before Marcos on Wednesday, video from Radio Television Malacañang showed.

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