MANILA, AUGUST 30, 2012 (STANDARD) - By Macon Ramos-Araneta - Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Tuesday said Vice President Jejomar Binay was well suited to replace the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo as a result of his experience.

[PHOTO -WHO WILL IT BE?  President Benigno S. Aquino 111 is expected to name a new secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) before he leaves for Russia on Sept. 7, 2012. Among those being considered include (upper photos, from left) Representatives Joseph Emilio Abaya of Cavite and Teddy Baguilat Jr. of Ifugao, and Senator Panfilo Lacson. (Lower photos, from left) former Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas, and Representative Lorenzo Tanada 111, of Quezon. FROM MANILA BULLETIN]

But Binay, the head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, said he was not interested in the post, and that there were others qualified to fill it.

“President Aquino has assigned many things to me, including the shelter sector, illegal recruitment and smuggling,” Binay said.

“I’ll have to finish those tasks before anything else.”

Enrile said Binay was familiar with both the operations of the national government, being the current vice president, and local governments because he was mayor of Makati City for a long time.


Enrile was reacting to reports that the Interior Department was a toss-up between Binay and Transport and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas.

“He is holding a Cabinet position which requires administrative functions,” Enrile said.

“If you are vice president, what you do is just travel around the country like the late President Diosdado Macapagal before he became President.

“They are all capable because they have experience in local administration. They all know the common problems of local governments. That’s politics. You are mostly involved in politics if you are in the local level, but that position of Interior and Local Government portfolio does not only involve politics. It involves law enforcement.”

Senator Panfilo Lacson is also being eyed to replace Robredo.

On Tuesday, Valenzuela City’s public information officer said Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, 38, was among those being recommended by the group Movement for Good Governance to replace Robredo.

“I am sure Mayor Sherwin is very much flattered with the recommendation of the MGG, but as of now I am not sure how the mayor would respond to this,” Ahna Mejia said.

Valenzuela City topped the Interior Department’s Local Governance Performance Management System in 2011. The same year, Gatchalian was named one of The Outstanding Young Men for public service as a result of his commitment to education and community development.

[PHOTO -Roxas on Monday belied reports the DILG post has been offered to him.]

Enrile said it was up to the appointing power to select the best candidate for the position.

“Not only the best material but the trust and confidence of the appointing power on the person to be appointed because the one who will be appointed will be the alter ego of the President,” Enrile said.

“He is the embodiment and personification of the President in that department.

Asked about Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, who is being pushed by some sectors to assume Robredo’s post, Enrile said he did not know him.

“But I know Senator Lacson quite well enough,” he said.

“I think if they will tap Senator Lacson to head that department, he will do very well because he is trained as a law enforcement person and the police organization is under that department.”

Lacson is a close ally of President Benigno Aquino III. Roxas and Abaya are members of the ruling Liberal Party.

Enrile said Lacson was familiar with the responsibility required by the post because he had been exposed to national politics and local leaders.

“He has gone all over the country. He knows the problem of law and order in every area of the country, having been the head of the police department,” Enrile said.

“He was once the head of the [National Police]. He was a member of the Cabinet. He has been a senator for many, many year terms so therefore, he is familiar with the laws and conditions of this country.”

Senator Franklin Drilon said he did not think the President had made any decision yet on who to appoint to Robredo’s post because they were still grieving over his death.

“But I believe that the vacancy should immediately be filled and the President should be able to make his decision in the next two weeks ideally,” he said. With Gigi Muñoz-David and Sara Susanne D. Fabunan


Enrile says Lacson good choice for DILG Details Published on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00 Written by JP LOPEZ .

SENATE President Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday said Sen. Panfilo Lacson (photo) will “do very well” as next interior secretary, replacing Jesse Robredo who died in a plane crash last August 18.

Enrile said Lacson, a former PNP chief, “is trained as a law enforcement person and the police organization is under that department.”

“In terms of political content of that function, he is familiar with the breadth of the responsibility because he has been exposed to national politics and the local leaders of the country,” he said.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was among those considered for the post in 2010, reiterated he is no longer interested.

He said he wants to finish the tasks assigned to him by Aquino, like in the “shelter sector, illegal recruitment and human smuggling.”

“Marami akong tatapusin doon sa ipinagkatiwala sa akin ni Pangulong Noynoy. So, iyong iba na lamang po, at marami pa namang qualified diyan,” he added.

Enrile also said what is important is that the next interior secretary has the trust and confidence of President Aquino, and not his political affiliation.

“If you are a member of the party (Liberal Party), if he does not have full confidence in you, you will have a hard time running your department,” he said.

Lacson is a known ally of President Aquino.

Lacson’s term expires next year. He has declined comment on the possibility of being given a Cabinet post but has expressed willingness to serve the administration if Aquino would offer him a position.

Sen. Franklin Drilon said the Liberal Party has a long list of nominees for the post, and suggested that Aquino choose from the list in the next two weeks.

The post is currently occupied by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. in acting capacity.

Drilon said the appointment of Ochoa was “not good” because the work involves peace and order and the PNP. “I would like to think that the President should make an appointment by the next two weeks,” he said.

Ochoa reportedly belongs to a faction headed by Binay who is facing an electoral protest case filed by Transportation Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Aquino’s running mate in the 2010 elections, and head of the other faction in the Aquino administration.

Roxas on Monday belied reports the DILG post has been offered to him.


LP’s Abaya as likely next DILG chief backed Written by Angie M. Rosales
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 00:00

President Aquino is reportedly bent on Cavite Rep. Emilio Joseph Abaya (photo), the Liberal Party’s (LP) secretary general, to succeed Jesse Robredo, who died on a plane crash last Aug. 18, at the helm of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) which Sen. Edgardo Angara said would be a good choice.

This, despite earlier statements made by Angara urging Aquino to seriously consider naming someone outside of his “turf” in the Liberal Party (LP) with the highest credentials for the job rather than a political ally.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II, LP president, also earlier endorsed Abaya as the new DILG chief.

Angara agreed that speculations appeared to be rife on the matter of Abaya getting the position although Malacañang claimed that the President is not about to name anytime soon the replacement for Robredo as his post is currently filled by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa as officer-in-charge. Abaya is alleged to have the support of the LP, based on the information reaching the senator. Asked about Abaya, Angara said the congressman is very qualified.

“He is qualified. Annapolis graduate, engineer, disciplined, isn’t he? Also he’s a Navy man,” Angara said.

With the 2013 national elections coming up, Angara said it is just logical that the President will appoint a partymate as Robredo’s replacement.

Apart from Abaya, among the names being floated as Robredo’s replacement are Vice President Jejomar Binay and Roxas.
President Aquino will award the Philippine Legion of Honor, which is equivalent to a chief commander rank, to Robredo today.
According to the Bulletin no. 11 issued by the Committee on Funeral Arrangements and Burial, President Aquino will confer the rank of a Chief Commander on the late Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary after the concelebrated requiem mass during the last day of the state funeral in Robredo’s hometown Naga City.

The Philippine Legion of Honor is considered the highest award the President can bestow without the need for approval of Congress.

“(DILG) Secretary Robredo is being conferred the Philippine Legion of Honor for life achievement as Secretary of the Interior (and Local Government), and as Mayor of Naga City,” the committee said.

The rank of a Chief Commander is the highest in the Philippine Legion of Honor, which was created through the Philippine Army Circular No. 60 dated July 3, 1947.

The Legion of Honor is awarded to a Filipino or foreign citizen in recognition of valuable and meritorious service in relation to the military affairs of the Republic of the Philippines.

The rank of a chief commander is conferred upon a civilian for life achievement in public service not otherwise qualifying for the Quezon Service Cross; or upon a former or incumbent head of State and/or of government.

Robredo’s widow, Leonora Robredo, will receive the posthumous award.

The remains of the late DILG Secretary are currently at the Basilica Minore de Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia here.
A concelebrated requiem mass is scheduled today at 10 a.m. at the Basilica after which a eulogy will follow for the late DILG Chief to be delivered by Aquino.

According to the bulletin, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad will read the honor’s citation before the President presents the posthumous award to Robredo’s widow Leni.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will render a 19-gun salute during the departure honors at the Basilica.
The casket will be loaded onto the hearse and will then proceed to the Naga Imperial Crematory and Columbary for the cremation.

A three-volley salute, to be given by a company of 21 soldiers, followed by the playing of Taps, will take place at the Naga Imperial Crematory.

The state funeral for Robredo ends when the national flag is taken off the casket, folded, and presented by President Aquino to Robredo’s widow.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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