Robredo as DSWD chief? Palace reacts

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2017 07:14 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Friday said choosing Vice President Leni Robredo as the next social welfare secretary may not be ideal, considering that she already resigned from the Cabinet as the country’s housing czar.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that while he does not reject the idea of the Vice President becoming the next social welfare secretary, he noted that the circumstances and prevailing political climate may not make her an ideal candidate.

“Perhaps, there might be conditionalities that may not be too favorable regarding that. I don’t know. It all depends on the President,” Abella said in a news conference in Malacañang.

Robredo was named as one of the possible replacements of former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo after Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson included her name in a Twitter poll.

As of writing, Robredo was leading in the poll, ahead of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Asst. Sec. Lorraine Badoy and Nikki Teodoro, wife of former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

Taguiwalo had to leave her job as DSWD chief after the bicameral Commission on Appointments rejected her ad interim appointment.

Taguiwalo was one of the Cabinet members nominated by the left to the Duterte Cabinet, along with Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano. The other government appointees associated with the left are Labor Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod, National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza and Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor Chairman Terry Ridon.

According to Abella, the President has yet to pick Taguiwalo’s replacement in DSWD, a department which usually leads relief and rehabilitation efforts in parts of the country struck by natural and man-made calamities.

He also stressed that Duterte gave his full trust and support for Taguiwalo “even when she sided with leftists groups opposing the President’s positions.”

This, amid allegations that the President did not support Taguiwalo enough for her to hurdle the CA.

“In the end, however, the law requires we abide by decisions of the CA on presidential nominations,” Abella said.

“He also respects the boundaries between the three branches of government.”