Duterte ‘proud’ of his Cabinet: PCOO chief

Duterte ‘proud’ of his Cabinet: PCOO chief

By Azer Parrocha

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose together with the members of his cabinet during the Cabinet Members’ Christmas Party at the Malacañan Palace on December 14, 2018. (Richard Madelo/Presidential Photo)

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — President Rodrigo R. Duterte is “proud” of his Cabinet and continues to believe in each one of them, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Saturday.

Andanar made this remark a day after the President hosted a party for members of the Cabinet on Friday night.

Nagsalita siya na kaunti about doon kay Secretary Ben Diokno,iyong nangyari doon sa Kongreso tapos ipinaliwanag din niya at ipinaaalala sa amin na, sabi niya na he is proud of this present Cabinet (He spoke a little about Secretary Ben Diokno, what happened in the Congress, then he explained and reminded us that he is proud of his present Cabinet),” Andanar said over a radio interview.

The PCOO chief said Duterte, who reminded them about refraining from engaging in corrupt activities, was also “happy” to work with each of his Cabinet members.

Tapos masaya siya overall. Masaya siya sa naging trabaho ng mga miyembro ng kaniyang gabinete (He is happy overall. He is happy that he gets to work with members of his cabinet),” he added.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Diokno still enjoys the trust and confidence of the President after the House of Representatives adopted Resolution No. 2365 urging the chief executive to reconsider the Budget chief’s appointment.

Diokno was accused of being responsible for the alleged PHP75 billion worth of “insertions” contained in the PHP3.757-trillion proposed national budget for 2019 without the President’s consent.

He was accused of having links to CT Leoncio Construction and Trading, a contractor that bagged billions worth of government projects, an allegation which he denied.

Panelo also said that at least eight cabinet members threw support and slammed the House members for their display of “disrespect and utter lack of courtesy” toward Diokno during the recent Question Hour.

“To use the congressional process to bombard Sec. Diokno with pre-considered questions and answers in aid – not of legislation – but of persecution and excoriating him with baseless allegations is a mockery of standard democratic procedures,” they said in their letter submitted to the President.

Panelo said despite Diokno’s denial, the executive branch will still investigate the allegations, and committed that there will be no sacred cows.

“Secretary Diokno has already denied any involvement or any link. But let me repeat what we have said repeatedly: This President is no respecter of friendship, of alliances, of party affiliations, of friendship. His principle is you follow the law; you violate it — you will account for it. You engage in corruption, then you will be fired,” Panelo said. (PNA)

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