MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday released the appointment paper of Senator Gregorio 'Gringo' Honasan II, two weeks after he accepted President Rodrigo Duterte's offer to head the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
Duterte signed Honasan's appointment paper on Nov. 20, making him the second senator to get a Cabinet portfolio under the present administration.
In May 2017, Duterte appointed Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as foreign affairs chief but the latter eventually resigned to run as congressman of Taguig City in the 2019 mid-term polls.
With Honasan's appointment, the Senate will now be left with only 22 members, including detained Senator Leila de Lima, who is facing illegal drugs-related charges.
Honasan, a former military colonel, replaced acting DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr.
Under Rio's supervision, Mislatel, a consortium composed of Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics headed by Davao businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecom, got the government's approval to become the country's third major telco player.
Mislatel will compete with Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Inc. and Globe Telecom.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte appointed Honasan based on trust and confidence and integrity.
He said questions on the 70-year-old lawmaker's competence in the field of information and communication will be up to the Commission on Appointments (CA), a congressional body.
It is not for us to decide on that. It will be the Commission on Appointments. There will be vetting and he'll have to respond to the questions on his competence, Panelo said in a Palace press briefing on Thursday.
When the President nominates, it's for the Commission on Appoinents to approve the nomination, he added. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency