It's official: Mar Roxas is new DILG chief

(UPDATE) President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has officially appointed his ally, Telecommunications Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas to the plum Interior and Local Government post.

At the same time, Aquino appointed Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya to replace Roxas as Telecommunications chief.

"Sa pagtatalaga natin kina Mar at Jun, kumpiyansa tayong higit pang mapapabilis ang pag-usad natin sa tuwid na daan," Aquino said in a press conference Friday.

Aquino said he appointed the two to ensure that the administration's agenda for change will push through. He also asked the Commission on Appointments to immediately confirm Roxas and Abaya.

"Mar was at the top of the very short list," added Aquino when asked if he had a hard time deciding who to appoint, amid many suggested names including Senator Panfilo Lacson, Davao Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

When asked about the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo's similarities with Roxas, Aquino said: "Robredo and Mar, they both share my trust, my complete trust."

"Kapag maling tao ang inilagay mo diyan, magsasamantala sa pwesto. Pangalawa, Kasipagan," he added.

"Mar is very capable to handle this job. He will put in his own personal style," said Aquino, adding that Roxas can pick his workmates at the department and bring in some if necessary.

As DILG Chief, Roxas has power over local government units nationwide, the Philippine National Police, and the Bureau of Fire Protection.

In his announcement statement, Aquino said: "Isang taong may kakayahang kumilos at tumugon sa tawag ng paglilingkod, at magsilbing tulay upang tiyakin na mula sa kapulisan hanggang sa lokal na pamamahala, tumatahak nang nagkakaisa tungo sa iisang direksyon ang ating bansa. Sino pa nga ba ang sasalamin sa lahat ng katangiang ito kundi ang Pangulo ng aming partido na si Kalihim Mar Roxas."

Roxas was Aquino's running mate in the 2010 Presidential elections. Roxas is also the Liberal Party president.

More stories:

Roxas: I have big tsinelas to fill

Critics: Roxas appointment is traditional politics

Aquino's appointment speech: (from Gov.ph)

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