By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang confirmed that former Senator Gringo Honasan has taken the helm of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), seven months after it was reported that he has accepted the offer to lead the agency.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed in a text message that Honasan has taken his oath of office in Malacañang late Monday afternoon and joined the Cabinet Meeting.
“Took his oath [as] DICT Secretary earlier. He is now in the Cabinet meeting,” Medialdea said.
In another text message, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra also confirmed Honasan’s new post, saying President Duterte “just introduced” Honasan to the Cabinet.
In a statement Monday evening, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo confirmed Honasan’s appointment and said that the former senator was warmly welcomed during the Cabinet meeting.
Panelo also expressed confidence that Honasan will be able to perform well as he leads the DICT, while also continuing the good plans and programs of his predecessor.
“We are confident that Secretary Honasan would perform well in his new assignment as chief of the DICT, which is headed for exciting times as our people expect the full rollout of the national fiber optic cable network and operationalization of the country’s third major telecommunications player,” he said.
“We likewise believe that he would continue and improve on the good plans and programs of his predecessor, Mr. Eliseo Mijares Rio Jr., whose leadership is credited for the improvement of e-governance which reduced queues at government offices, among other countless accomplishments,” he added.
The Palace official also noted of Honasan’s 21-year experience as a Senator and his background on military science.
“Sec. Honasan has a wealth of experience not only in legislation as a Senator for 21 years, in the military science, as a military officer for sixteen years, and a military renegade for seven years. In addition, he had an AIM masters degree in management that will certainly help him in his new role in the Executive Branch,” Panelo said.
In November last year, Duterte revealed he offered the post then held by Eliseo Rio to Honasan. A few hours after the President’s announcement, Honasan said that he has decided to join Duterte’s Cabinet.