MANILA - Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday confirmed Senator Gringo Honasan's appointment as Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary.
Sotto said Honasan's appointment papers were expected to come out on November 12.
He will continue to serve as senator until the bicameral Commission on Appointments, whose members include his own peers at the Senate, confirms his nomination, the Senate leader said.
If confirmed before the midterm elections, Honasan's move to the Cabinet would leave 22 incumbent senators.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano had left the 24-member chamber upon his appointment in May 2017. The latter has also stepped down as he is running for Taguig representative next year.
Palace sources earlier said Honasan would take the place of DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio before his second term as senator ends in June 2019.
Sotto's confirmation about Honasan's move to the DICT was made hours before the possible naming of the country's third telco player.
Breaking the telecommunications duopoly between PLDT and Globe and improving internet connection in the country are among issues Honasan would face as DICT chief.
Honasan, a leader of an Armed Forces group that broke away from the Marcos dictatorship, was first elected senator in 1995.
He was part of two failed coup attempts, in August 1987 and December 1989, against the Corazon Aquino administration he helped install.
Last year, he was charged with graft for allegedly disbursing millions of public funds to a non-government organization without following the procurement process.
He has maintained innocence of the charges.
- with reports from Dharel Placido and Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News