President looking for ‘nice, quiet job’ for Puno

President Benigno S. Aquino III said yesterday he is studying a suitable government post for resigned Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno while leaving it to incoming Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II to appoint his undersecretaries at the department.

In an interview in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, the President hinted that Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Nicanor Bartolome was not interested in the Puno's seat at DILG.

The President said last week his is considering Bartolome to replace Puno who resigned amid controversies, including his visit to the offices and residence of the late Secretary Jesse Robredo.

Puno, a close friend of Aquino's, had reportedly said the President is looking for a "nice, quiet" job for him.

"His wish was (to have a) quiet (job). For now, it's under consideration but nothing confirmed. We'll finish so many things but not in the DILG if that could materialize," the President said about Puno's next government post.

On Puno's replacement at the DILG, the President said he thought he had someone locked for the DILG post when he left for Russia last weekend.

"But when I returned, we talked again and it looks like he will not be ready when the time of need comes," he said in Filipino, without directly naming Bartolome.

While in Russia, the President said he might ask Bartolome to retire early and assume the post of Puno. Bartolome however is rumored to retire early and run for Congress next year.

For now, Aquino said no person has been designated yet to replace Puno. "I think Secretary Roxas will be the right person to designate his undersecretaries. The problem is Secretary Roxas must first assume the post before he can designate new officials," the President added.

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