Gringo: Senate’s loss, Cabinet’s gain

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Sen. Gregorio Honasan will be a big loss for the Senate but will be a good addition to President Duterte’s Cabinet.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, yesterday confirmed that based on their last meeting with the President on 29 October, Honasan’s nomination as incoming secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will be out by 12 November.

“He (Honasan) is a big loss for the Senate. You’ve seen how he handles his committee. On the other hand, he will not be totally going away because he is transferring to the Executive department,” Sotto said in a press conference.

“He would be an asset in the DICT. National security is a big factor there even with the entry of third telecommunications company,” he added.

Honasan is a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1971 and a retired Army colonel.

Sotto, at the same time, assured that Honasan’s entry into DICT will not hamper President Duterte’s promise of a third telco as soon as possible.

He also said DICT officer in charge Eliseo Rio is not likely to be removed from the government.

“Senator Honasan is a good manager so he will not disrupt anything beneficial to the government. I don’t see any problem with that,” Sotto said.

It was not clear, however, what specific position Rio will be assuming. He has received flak for the delayed entry of a third telco to break the current duopoly in the telecommunications industry by Globe Telecoms and Smart Communications.

The Daily Tribune earlier reported Rio is being accused of bypassing the oversight committee, headed by the Department of Finance, in efforts to have a third telco. There were also allegations Rio was meeting personally with probable proponents.

Sotto is optimistic Honasan will breeze through the powerful Commission on Appointments when his nomination is submitted for confirmation.

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