Musical chairs in the Cabinet
The President shuffles his men anew, while paradise is due to reopen. These are the stories making the newscasts on ANC today:
Changes in Customs again
President Duterte has moved embattled Customs chief Isidro Lapena to the TESDA and designated Marina administrator and former AFP Chief of Staff Rey Guerrero as the new head of Customs. Essentially, Lapena was promoted despite the “shabu scandal” as the TESDA chief sits on the Cabinet. He is another former military or police officer getting a plum post in government. The President is also moving officials around despite controversies and lapses instead of taking them out of government. Also, the President orders all Customs commissioners and department heads out.
Staying at the Senate
Related to the shabu scandal, Jimmy Guban, the former Customs intelligence officer allegedly involved in the drug trade who was ordered arrested by President Duterte, is staying put at the Senate for now. Senate President Tito Sotto said that if there is no warrant for Guban, there will be no arrest. DOJ Sec. Menardo Guevarra agreed, saying Guban is being considered for witness protection. Senate blue ribbon committee chair Dick Gordon said Guban stays in the Senate until he is formally part of the witness protection program and turned over to the NBI.
Paradise reopens today after President Duterte called it a “cesspool” and ordered its rehabilitation and closure. Malay, Aklan Mayor Ciceron Cawaling has been suspended for supposed neglect that led to the environmental crisis on the island. The municipality of Malay has jurisdiction over Boracay. ANC's Early Edition taped an interview with DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu and will go live with Elena Brugger of the PCCI-Boracay. Will the reopening spark tourism and growth? Recall that in August, NEDA Sec. Ernesto Pernia said the closure was one of the factors dragging the country’s economic growth in the second quarter.
Surprises for the Supreme Court
It’s the last day for accepting nominations for the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. ANC will stay alert for surprise nominations and fresh developments.
Is there hope for the party-list system? Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said the law on the party-list system must be amended because the system is being abused by politicians for their own gain. Manuelito Luna of Presidential Anti Corruption Commission will be guest on ANC’s Headstart to talk about reforming the problematic party-list system.