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Marcos offers Cabinet posts to Laguesma, Ople



Presumptive president Bongbong Marcos has asked former labor secretary Bienvenido Laguesma and overseas Filipino worker advocate Susan “Toots” Ople to join his Cabinet, his spokesperson disclosed on Tuesday.

In a press conference at their campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City, lawyer Vic Rodriguez said Laguesma was offered the position of Labor secretary while Ople for the Department of Migrant Workers.

The two, however, have yet to accept the job offers and requested some time to think about it and consult their families and friends.

“Just before he left for his much-needed vacation, president-elect Bongbong has spoken to two personalities. They are still in the private sector, but they welcomed his (Marcos) offer,” Rodriguez said before naming Laguesma and Ople.

Laguesma is no stranger to government service as he formerly headed the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) from 1998 to 2001.

Toots served as DoLE undersecretary during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

She is the youngest daughter of the late Senator Blas Ople, who served as Labor secretary during the administration of the late president Ferdinand Marcos for 17 years.

“Like what we usually say, when you’re doing so well in the private sector, the challenge is inviting them to sacrifice and help in building the nation to serve as a Cabinet member or a government official,” he said.

Convincing private individuals to shift to public office is one of the challenges that Marcos is facing in forming his Cabinet and economic team, his mouthpiece bared.

“He (Marcos) has been talking to a lot of respected individuals in the fields of economy, banking, investment, and the business sector. The biggest challenge is that they have to make sacrifices as soon as they join the government,” Rodriguez said.

“Imagine they are doing so well in the private sector, they are not used to working under the microscope, every day under scrutiny—that even if they are doing nothing wrong, they will be criticized.

“It is not that they do not want to serve the country, it’s not that they are not willing to make these meaningful sacrifices, they just need to prepare themselves and their families,” he explained.

Marcos is very much involved in the selection process, interviewing each of the persons who made it to the shortlist of his potential Cabinet members.

So far, the Marcos’ camp has named Sara as the Department of Education secretary and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos as the Interior and Local Government chief.