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ROUGH CUTS | New team members are awaited

THERE are at least two heads-of-office positions at the City Hall of Davao that could likely be having new occupants. We are referring to the City Administrator’s which is likely to be vacated by lady lawyer Lyka Lopez who, we believe, will be taken along by Vice President-elect Sara Duterte  when she will assume office on June 30, 2022; and that of the long-vacant City Information Officer (CIO) the head of which resigned months back when he was involved in some kind of controversy.

These heads-of-office positions would most likely be the ones that could give Mayor-elect Baste Duterte some flexibility in wiggling through his own trusted people to be part of his team that will run the city government in the next three years. But with the many loyal supporters of the incoming mayor and those who would likely be recommended by his sister outgoing mayor Sara and his brother Congressman Polong, still Mayor Baste will probably be scratching his head.

Why, there are, after all, a lot of influential people in the city whom he might have owed debts of gratitude that he needs to pay with favors.


In the province of Davao de Oro the result of the May 9 local election was far from our expectation. We nurtured this idea that it will take certain amount of resources and guts to directly confront politically the former Vice Governor of the province Arturo “Chongkee” Uy who many believe (including us) was well-entrenched in his position as one of the pioneering provincial top executives.

When Chongkee slid down to the Vice Governorship post to give way to his son Tyrone Uy for the top provincial position, the latter’s having won handily along with his father was indication that the Uys were setting up some kind of a political granite wall in that gold-laden province. Besides, it cannot be denied that what the Gold Province has achieved in terms of development both economically and in terms of infrastructure, has to a large extent been due to the initiatives of Chongkee’s leadership.

What made the people of Davao de Oro shift support to another political family, the Gonzagas of the province, we have no idea. What we are certain about is that the Province now hosts a substantial number of young voters who may prefer younger politicians because of the notion that if they are the ones elected the young feel that they “belong.” And this factor is probably the one playing in the unexpected debacle of Chongkee and many of those candidates who aligned with him.


On a day-to-day basis we are, like most fellow Filipinos, waiting for announcements of new appointees to the Cabinet of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Weeks back many were thinking that retired UP Professor Dr. Clarita Carlos would be named Secretary of Foreign Affairs. But no, she is instead unexpectedly chosen to become the incoming President’s National Security Adviser, a position that is traditionally reserved for men. Carlos therefore has broken a tradition being the first woman to head such critical office in any administration.

The Cabinet posts that for now are closely being watched as to who will be appointed as Secretary are those of the Secretaries of National Defense, Foreign Affairs, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, that of the Health Department portfolio, among others.

As for the Defense Department, many are guessing that the next appointee could be a retired military top official. But if Marcos Jr. follows the way of his late father he could be appointing a civilian to be the next Defense Department head.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Affairs Secretary could be “reserved” for now Philippine Ambassador to the United States in Babe Romualdez. He is a cinch to the position being a relative of the incoming President.  But former Press Secretary and Ambassador and now leading columnist of Manila Times Rigoberto “Bobby” Tiglao could possibly have a grab of the post.

On the other hand, the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel could end up a worthy position for lady lawyer Karen Gimeno. After all a woman lawyer is always known for her adeptness in doing research which is one responsibility of the office to ensure that any legal opinion on certain issues brought to Malacanang for comments and/or reaction is within the ambit of the law and the constitution.

As to the Secretary of Health the incoming President has for his choice an array of expert medical practitioners. The key however, is who among the experts has at the same time the managerial capability to put in place a health program envisioned by the new administration. That is the key to appointing the best there is for the DOH.





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