Here’s a quick rundown of the dictator's son and president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s cabinet. As head of the executive department, he will work with these individuals closely in running the government.
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Department of Budget and Management - Amenah Pangandaman
Amenah Pangandaman, Assistant Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will soon be secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Pangandaman worked closely with current BSP governor and soon to be Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno during his term at DBM under President Duterte. She served as Assistant Secretary, Chief of Staff, and Legislative Liaison Officer to the Presidential Legal Liaison Office (PLLO).
Prior to being Chief of Staff for the Office of Senator Edgardo Angara from June 2007 to June 2013, she was part of a Political and Constituency Policy Research Group for his office. A couple of years after that, she became part of the Committee of Finance of Senator Loren Legarda’s office.
Pangandaman was linked to a 2019 investigation of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.
At the time, then-DBM secretary Diokno was being investigated for “anomalous budget practices” – an accusation which he has denied. Diokno had been absent for the sixth time for the House committee’s probe. Pangandaman was present in the hearing, according to Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr.
Andaya accused Diokno of offering him P40 billion to insert a list of projects worth a total of P75 billion into the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Three DPWH computer programmers testified that Pangandaman and division chief Ellen Tumang asked them to encode the projects. The P75 billion was soon removed and reappropriated.
Department of Education - Sara Duterte
Vice President-elect Sara Duterte, daughter of incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte, is the next Secretary of Education. It will be her mandate to manage the primary and secondary school system in the Philippines.
She is not a graduate of any degree related to education.
Department of Finance - Benjamin Diokno
Ben Diokno, incumbent governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will be next Secretary of Finance under Marcos Jr. He will be responsible for fiscal policies, revenue generation, and management of public debt.
Prior to his stint at the BSP, Diokno became the secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from 2016 to 2019 under Duterte and all throughout the term of ousted president Erap Estrada.
In the early weeks of the pandemic, Diokno said that “there is no reason to believe that the COVID-19 crisis could severely cut the Philippine growth momentum.” The opposite is true, however, with the country experiencing a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 9.5% – the worst since 1947 from 2019 to 2020.
Department of Information and Communications Technology – Ivan John Uy
Ivan John Uy, the former chairman of the PNoy administration’s Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), will soon sit as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) secretary.
CICT was the predecessor of DICT, which was dissolved in 2011 and merged with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Uy is an expert in Information Technology (IT), and even served as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Supreme Court who was responsible for its digitalization.
He was also the counsel of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) former Vice President Jejomar Binay’s political party. As an IT expert, he also gave insights on the hash code issue that the Marcos camp associated with the sudden increase of votes for Leni Robredo. The problem was concerned with displaying candidates’ names.
Uy earned a legal management college degree from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and his law degree from the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also a Hubert H. Humphrey fellow of the University of Minnesota – a competitive program granted to “professional candidates with a commitment to public service.”
Department of Interior and Local Government - Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr.
Ben Abalos was the chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for a little over a year from January 2021 to February 2022. He resigned from the post to manage the campaign of Marcos Jr. Now he makes a comeback in government to be the next Interior and Local Government Secretary, where he will have oversight on the Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
He expressed support for the late dictator’s son as early as 2016 during the vice presidential elections, where he was implicated to be an anti-Marcos activist in People Power I.
Department of Justice - Boying Remulla
Boying Remulla already won reelection to be the 7th legislative district representative of Cavite when he was approached by Marcos Jr. to be the next Secretary of Justice. He will no longer take the legislative post to take on the job.
He graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law in 1987 and passed the bar the year prior. Boying belongs to a political dynasty – with his brother Jonvic currently a provincial governor, his brother Gilbert being a former 2nd district legislator from 2001 to 2007, and his father being the former Cavite governor for fourteen years.
Remulla was criticized by social media users and a human rights group last March for “red-tagging” the political rally of then-presidential aspirant Leni Robredo, saying that some attendees were trained by the revolutionary National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
Department of Labor and Employment - Bienvenido “Benny” Laguesma
Bienvenido Laguesma was the former Labor Secretary under ousted President Erap Estrada. He started working in the Department during the term of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. He also became the Commissioner of the Social Security Commission (SSC) under the Noynoy Aquino administration.
Laguesma is an independent director of PAL Holdings, Inc., according to their website. He was also the director of Philex Mining and the First Metro Investment Corporation.
Department of Agriculture – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Department of Agrarian Reform – Conrado Estrella III
Department of Foreign Affairs – Jose Rene Almendras
Department of Migrant Workers - Susan “Toots” Ople
Department of National Defense – Jose Faustino Jr. (acting)
Department of Public Works and Highways - Manuel Bonoan
Department of Social Welfare and Development – Erwin Tulfo
Department of Tourism – Christina Frasco
Department of Trade and Industry - Alfredo Pascual
Department of Transportation – Jaime Bautista
Other offices and positions under the president
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas – Felipe Medalla
National Economic Development Authority – Arsenio Balisacan
National Security Council – Clarita Carlos
Office of the Executive Secretary – Vic Rodriguez
Office of the Presidential Chief Legal Counsel – Juan Ponce Enrile
Office of the Solicitor General – Menardo Guevarra
Office of the Special Assistant to the President – Antonio Lagdameo Jr.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) – Trixie Cruz-Angeles
Presidential Legal Liaison Office – Luzverfreda E. Pascual (acting)
Presidential Management Staff – Zenaida Angping
To be announced:
Department of Energy
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Department of Health
Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development
Department of Science and Technology
Office of the Political Adviser
Office of the Presidential Adviser for the Visayas
Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
(UPDATED: With new appointments)
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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