MANILA -- MalacaAang said former National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Lead Convenor Liza Maza has a misplaced view on President Rodrigo Duterte's move to reorganize the Office of the President (OP) and to appoint retired military officials in the Cabinet.
We find it unfortunate that a former member of the Duterte Cabinet and past National Anti-Poverty Commission Lead Convenor, Ms. Liza Maza, has a misplaced � if not distorted � view of the reorganization and composition of the Cabinet, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Thursday.
Maza, on her Facebook account, called Executive Order (EO) No. 67, signed by Duterte on Oct. 31, a horror story as it transferred eight agencies, including the NAPC, from OP to three line departments, including two headed by retired military officials.
Panelo said the President's intent to rationalize the Executive Branch is to promote greater efficiency, agency convergence and participatory governance in the delivery of essential public services to all the sectors of society, given that they are now transferred to line agencies.
This is also in line with the campaign promise of PRRD to make the bureaucracy more efficient and responsive to the needs of our people through rightsizing, he added.
Panelo said the appointment of left-leaning individuals, including Maza, did not make the Cabinet communist or convert the respective offices they headed, leftist.
Her conclusion, therefore, that placing former military men in executive offices, automatically translates to a military junta-led government, is completely erroneous, he said.
Aside from the NAPC, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor have been transferred to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), now headed by former Philippine Army chief Rolando Rolly Bautista.
On the other hand, the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Philippine Commission on Women, and the National Youth Commission are now under the Department of the Interior and Local Government led by former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, Officer-in-Charge Secretary Eduardo AAo.
Duterte's EO 67 has also transferred the Cooperative Development Authority and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), now headed by former police general and Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner Isidro LapeAa, to the Department of Trade and Industry.
He added that the inclusion of left-leaning personalities in the Cabinet is part of Duterte's sincere effort to end the communist insurgency by inviting them to put their talents to good use in serving the nation -- instead of calling for the government's ouster -- and be agents for peace and unification.
In the same vein, the President's appointment of former uniformed personnel to key Cabinet or sub-Cabinet posts reflects his trust to the military hierarchy, known for its high degree of professionalism, discipline, and can-do attitude, Panelo said.
These men have sacrificed many hours of their lives, even at the expense of their personal time with their families, for the love of and loyalty to our country; and this patriotic fervor, not to mention their academic credentials and experience in leading and managing large organizations, qualifies them for the posts that they hold, he added.
On the legal aspect, Panelo, also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, explained that the prohibition under Article 16, Section 5(4) of the 1987 Constitution is similarly immaterial because the men Ms. Maza mentioned are no longer active in the military but are now civilians. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency