Juan Ponce Enrile doesn’t want Chief of Staff post resurrected

·Contributor
·2 min read
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile (C), 90, who faces plunder and graft charges, attends a court hearing at the Sandiganbayan court in Quezon city, east of Manila July 11, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS/Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool)
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile (C), 90, who faces plunder and graft charges, attends a court hearing at the Sandiganbayan court in Quezon city, east of Manila July 11, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS/Ritchie B. Tongo/Pool)

Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile is not in favor of reestablishing the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff, the position that ex-Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez assumed after he resigned from his position.

Press Secretary Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles revealed during a press briefing as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. flies to New York for the United Nations General Assembly that Enrile had recommended to Marcos not to sign a draft special order that would give additional powers to the Presidential Chief of Staff.

“This office does not recommend the approval of the proposed [Administrative Order (AO)/Special Order (SO)] resurrecting the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff and granting it so much power as it will cause duplication and overlapping of functions, confusion and inevitable rifts among the different offices under the President,” Enrile said, in a report by ABS-CBN News.

Enrile also argued that the said move would go against the rightsizing of the government under Executive Order No. 1, as the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff would require the creation of additional positions such as senior deputy chief of staff, and two deputy chiefs of staff.

However, Marcos has already signed AO No. 1 creating the Office of the Presidential Chief of Staff, with the mandate to be the presidential strategist, policy adviser, presidential advocate, and other functions, according to a memorandum by the Presidential Legal Counsel on September 15, 2022.

The Presidential Chief of Staff will also be the one who will coordinate with the different agencies of government and the one authorized to check policies before the president signs them.

Under the draft SO, the additional powers of the Presidential Chief of Staff would have been:

  • Sign and approve memoranda, administrative issuances and instruments, contracts, and administrative documents

  • Implement instructions for the efficient and effective operations of departments, agencies, and offices

  • Implement policies and standards for the efficient and effective operations of the Office of the President and its attached agencies

“The Presidential Chief of Staff has no decision-making power, no signing power, no review power, no control over any government agency … no power to represent or act on behalf of the president,” Enrile added.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.

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