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Laguesma, Ople offered Cabinet posts

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Presumptive President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has asked former Labor secretary Bienvenido Laguesma and overseas Filipino workers advocate Susan “Toots” Ople to join his Cabinet, his spokesperson disclosed on Tuesday.

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

The two, however, have requested time to think about the offer and to 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 offer,” Rodriguez said.

Laguesma headed the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) from 1998 to 2001. Ople, on the other hand, served as Labor undersecretary during the term of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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

“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,” Rodriguez said.

“He (Marcos Jr.) 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.

He said that working in government also opens people to criticism, even those who are “doing nothing wrong.”

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

So far, the Marcos camp has offered incoming Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio the post of Education Secretary, and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairperson Benhur Abalos the position of Interior and Local Government chief.

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