Marcos admin less like Duterte, more like PNoy, GMA: analysts

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Philippine president-elect Ferdinand
Philippine president-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is photographed during a news conference at his headquarters in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 23, 2022. REUTERS/Lisa Marie David

The administration of president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will be less like the Duterte government and more similar to Benigno Aquino III and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s term, according to a political science expert.

In an interview in ABS-CBN News' "HALALAN 2022 AND BEYOND" aired on Thursday (May 26), lawyer and former dean of the Ateneo School of Government Antonio "Tony" La Viña noted reports that familiar names will be joining Marcos' Cabinet.

"Naririnig natin na mukhang 'same old, same old' ang mga ipapa-appoint e ... Some might have been appointees of (Noynoy) Aquino and GMA. So the moment that's done, sa tingin ko ... this government will be 'same old, same old' sa economic policies, sa economic management," La Viña said.

(We’ve heard that it looks like "same old, same old" (people) will be appointed. Some might have been appointees of (Noynoy) Aquino and GMA. So the moment that’s done, I think this government will be "same old, same old" in economic policies and economic management.

Marcos on Monday announced he nominated former Aquino cabinet member Arsenio Balisacan to head the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Balisacan was NEDA director-general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary from during Aquino's term.

Moreover, former labor secretary during Erap Estrada’s term Bienvenido Laguesma was also offered to return to his position in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

La Viña said that elite political figures and professionals from esteemed institutions will be appointed in the Marcos Jr. administration.

"Very predictable ang mangyayari (The outcome is very predictable). I would actually venture to say, this going to be closer to an Aquino government and a GMA government than to a Duterte government," La Vina said.

"Si Duterte kasi wala siyang network. Hindi siya intermarried. (Duterte had no network. He was not intermarried.) The Duterte family is not intermarried to the rich families of this country, was not related to the political clans of the country," La Viña noted, comparing Duterte’s Cabinet with Marcos Jr’s.

Meanwhile, University of the Philippines Diliman political science professor Aries Arugay agreed with La Viña's analysis, predicting that the Marcos Jr. administration will be "more exclusive."

"Ang magiging (tanong) lang dito, will it be diversely exclusive ... Magiging diverse ba siya na familial ang connection o competence, or both or accommodationist?" Arugay said.

(The question here is will it be diversely exclusive. Will it be diverse through familial connections, competence, or both or accommodationist?)

Arugay said that Marcos' Cabinet can still change, noting Duterte had a different Cabinet when he began his term compared to his current one.

The political expert noted that a lot of candidates allied with Marcos lost in the May 9 elections and may be appointed after the mandatory one-year ban of presidential appointments after the polls.

"Ang advise ko is 'tong Cabinet na 'to 'wag niyo masyado seryosohin ... It might not be the real Cabinet. Hintayin natin ng one year kasi maraming kandidato natalo ang maaaring ilagay, and that's where the real Cabinet is," he said.

(My advice is don’t take this Cabinet seriously as it might not be the real Cabinet. Let’s wait after one year because a lot of candidates lost and could be appointed, that’s where the real Cabinet is.)

Marcos is yet to complete his Cabinet appointments, with ex-UP President Alfredo Pascual being one of his most recent appointees.

Pascual, whom Marcos referred to as his “friend” was named as Marcos’ Trade Secretary.

Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.

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