Duterte: I had one of the best Cabinets

Published July 1, 2022, 10:52 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Former President Rodrigo Duterte thought he had assembled the best team possible as he ended his six-year term on June 30.

ONE LAST TIME— Former President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet take a group photo in Malacañang one last time before they end their six-year term on June 30, 2022. (Photo from Senator Bong Go)

The tough-talking leader said this a few minutes before he left Malacañang for the last time on Thursday.

In a video message shared by former Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Duterte was visibly proud of his Cabinet.

“I think… I am a student of government. Alam mo, matagal ako sa gobyerno (I’ve been with government for a long time). I think I assembled one of the best Cabinets, sa totoo lang (in my opinion),” he said.

“Piling-pili ko (I hand-picked them),” he added.

During the early days of his presidency, Duterte said he would pick “the best and the brightest” people for his Cabinet.

However, some of his Cabinet members did not last long as they were rejected by the powerful Commission on Appointments, resigned due to health reasons, moved to another post, or were fired by him due to corruption allegations or other reasons.

Among the people who stayed in Duterte’s Cabinet throughout his presidency were Andanar (PCOO), Salvador Medialdea (Executive Secretary), Arthur Tugade (Transportation), Carlos Dominguez (Finance), Ramon Lopez (Trade), Hermogenes Esperon (National Security), Delfin Lorenzana (Defense), Alfonso Cusi (Energy), Silvestre Bello III (Labor), and Leonor Briones (Education), among others.

Some of his newer appointees that stayed in his Cabinet until Duterte’s last day in office were Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (Tourism), Prospero de Vera (Higher Education), Francisco Duque III (Health), Carlito Galvez (Peace Process), Eduardo Año (Interior), Eduardo del Rosario (Housing), William Dar (Agriculture), Teodoro Locsin Jr. (Foreign Affairs), Rolando Bautista (Social Welfare), Abdullah Mama-o (Migrant Workers), Menardo Guevarra (Justice), and Melvin Matibag (Cabinet Secretary).