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Sara hands off Cabinet nominations

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Presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio will not have a hand in nominating potential Cabinet members of the incoming Marcos administration.

Liloan, Cebu Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco, her spokesperson, said presumptive president Bongbong Marcos enjoys complete discretion concerning the selection process for appointed positions in the government.

“Vice president-elect Sara Duterte has indicated that she fully respects the discretion and power of the President-elect to choose the government officials and Cabinet officials that he deems fit to join his administration,” Garcia-Frasco said in an online media interview with news website Politiko.

“Therefore, the Vice president has not made nor will make any recommendations in this regard,” she added.

So far, Marcos’ camp has named four personalities who would potentially form part of the next administration’s Cabinet. The two of them, however, have yet to accept Marcos’ job offer.

Duterte-Carpio has accepted to lead the Department of Education and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos as the Interior and Local Government chief.

Marcos has asked former labor secretary Bienvenido Laguesma to be his administration’s Labor secretary and overseas Filipino worker advocate Susan “Toots” Ople to head the newly formed Department of Migrant Workers.

Both Laguesma and Ople—who have served in the Department of Labor and Employment in the past—have asked Marcos to give them some time to contemplate whether they would want to return to public office.

Garcia-Frasco, meanwhile, explained why despite having expressed her choice of department to lead, Marcos still appointed Duterte-Carpio to a different agency.

“In order to avoid any intrigues from those who may wish to foment instability in the harmonious relationship between the vice president-elect and the president-elect,” she claimed.

Duterte-Carpio has earlier stated that she would want to lead the Department of National Defense. She is a reserve officer in the Armed Forces of the Philippines with the rank of colonel.

One of Duterte-Carpio’s goals, as she takes on the second-highest government post, is to make “her presence felt all over the Philippines” by establishing satellite offices nationwide, Garcia-Frasco disclosed.

“She intends to be a very proactive, visible, and hardworking vice president in a sense that her presence will be felt all over the country,” she said.

The President’s daughter also aims to utilize the assistance of the parallel groups, which helped her during the campaign.

“She intends to have several offices of the Vice President all over the country that would be able to render assistance to various constituencies, of course, this is all in full support of the vision and the priorities of President-elect Bongbong Marcos,” Garcia-Frasco said.

Duterte-Carpio, she added, wants to provide help, especially to residents living outside Metro Manila and those in far-flung areas.

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