By Billy Begas
Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benhur Abalos will be appointed secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the incoming Marcos Jr. administration.
“I would also like to announce that chairman Benhur Abalos has been nominated to lead the Department of the Interior and Local Government and he has accepted the challenge,” said Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson and chief of staff of president-in-waiting Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
It will be recalled that Abalos resigned as MMDA chair to help in the Marcos campaign.
Asked if he was offered to be the Executive Secretary, Rodriguez said his task now is to lead the transition team.
Rodriguez also said there was no truth to the list supposedly containing the names of the members of the Cabinet of the incoming administration now being circulated on social media.
“There is no truth to that apparent list. Walang listahan…the two names that we have announced by far is that of vice president-elect Inday Sara Duterte for the Department of Education and just now I am announcing the nomination of chairman Benhur Abalos to lead the Department of the Interior and Local Government,” Rodriguez added.
He said the Marcos camp is “in the process of searching and looking out for possible nominees for different Cabinet positions.”
“I don’t think anyone should expect that it can be announced in one sitting because as you know the vetting process takes time and appointing or nominating someone is not a one way thing, it has to be accepted and has to be offered,” he said.
Asked about the expected composition of the incoming Cabinet, Rodriguez said, “I think to be safe there will be new faces that will comprise the incoming president-elect Bongbong’s cabinet.”
Aside from being competent and qualified, Rodriguez said they are looking for individuals with a genuine love for the country, respect the flag of the Republic of the Philippines and the Constitution, and never called or will call for the overthrow of the government.