Palace: No impending Cabinet revamp

Published April 4, 2018, 1:46 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang is unaware of any impending changes in the Cabinet following reports that President Duterte is set to fire Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the statement after it was reported that Duterte will fire Aguirre within the week and that Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III has already submitted his letter resignation to the President last week.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 23rd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on March 5, 2018. (VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 23rd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on March 5, 2018.
(VALERIE ESCALERA/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Guevarra, during the Palace press briefing Wednesday morning, said the Office of the President has not recently received any letter of resignation coming from any member of the Cabinet.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in an interview over CNN Philippines Wednesday night, confirmed that both Aguirre and Bello were in the Cabinet meeting but only saw the latter greet the President.
“I know that Secretary Bello consulted with the President together with the members of the Peace Panel and heads of the Presidential Peace Office. But I did not see Secretary Aguirre greet the President because the President came in late, we were already assembled in the Cabinet room when he entered,” Roque said.
The Palace official also revealed that he asked Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea if the Office of the Executive Secretary received a resignation letter from either of the two said Cabinet memebers.
“Well, in fact before the meeting, I consulted with the Executive Secretary if his office received any communication from either Secretary members and he said none. He’s not received any received any letter from either secretary,” Roque said.

Before the Holy Week, President Duterte said that he is not any more satisfied with the performance of some of his Cabinet members. Although not going into details, the President furthered in another event that heads will roll once he returns to Manila after the Lenten break.

Guevarra said that he is not in a position to divulge information as to whom Duterte was referring to but quickly added that the President has been generally satisfied with Aguirre’s performance.

“I’m not in a position to say whom he was referring to. If any action along this line will have to be taken by the President, I guess he, himself, will make this announcement,” he said.

“He has been generally satisfied with the performance of the Secretary of Justice. Well, except for certain debacles that happened to the DOJ recently,” he added.

Guevarra was referring to when Duterte expressed his displeasure about the DOJ’s dismissal of charges against high-profile suspects Kerwin Espinosa and Peter Lim, among others.

 
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