DAVAO CITY – The team of leading presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is setting out plans to lay the grounds for his assumption into office.
Duterte initially mentioned the names of Carlos Dominguez, Arturo Tugade and former Press secretary Jesus Dureza as among those who he wants to join his would-be Cabinet. He, however, did not mention which department they would head.
Dominguez was the top student in Duterte’s university batch while Tugade was his batch mate in the College of Law of San Beda College. Duterte joked that both, who had a grade of 90, will serve a “75”, referring to his overall rating.
Dominguez is the chair of Marco Polo Hotel and former secretary of Agriculture while Tugade is a successful businessman, and former chief executive officer and president of Clark Development Corporation; Dureza was also former presidential adviser on the peace process.
Duterte said he would still search for someone who will manage the executive department.
He added that he would also want his runningmate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano for the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) a year after the election.
“I have given him a choice DOJ (Department of Justice) or DFA. Para sa akin sinabi ko sa kanya (For me I told him) he is my choice for topsy-turvy geopolitics which has to be solved by a bright mind…kaya ni Alan (Alan can). I want a more mature mind better than mine kasi importante (because it’s important) you go about fixing trade agreement Asean with the advent of WTO on services and goods…you cannot impose tariff, you will draw anger from the other side,” he said.
In an interview, Cayetano said outside of a Cabinet position, he has assured the mayor of his support. He said the country has 101 million Filipinos and there are the best and brightest people that the search committee can select.
Cayetano said he is there to back the mayor to reach out not only to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the communist movement, police, Army and also to the supporters of their political opponents.
He said they would work together as promised to clean the government, stop drugs and crimes in three to six months.
“Let’s make this administration successful…in one year maraming pwede mangyari para tumulong (many things can happen to help) wherever I can help,” he said.
Cayetano stressed that he and Duterte will translate their platform into actual work either through executive order or laws.
Duterte cited teamwork, thus wanted Cayetano to be in his team. Cayetano, Duterte said, is very good and can carry the country into greatness. “He is mature enough. He can have a choice,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, Duterte-Cayetano spokesperson Peter Lavina said the Duterte team is ready to form committees to prepare for the assumption of the Davao mayor into the presidency.
According to him, the transition committee will help the mayor identify members of the Cabinet and create a team to review Duterte and Cayetano’s policy statements during the campaign.
The transition committee will also coordinate with Malacanang officials following a statement by the chief of the Presidential Communications Group Herminio Coloma offering help for transition.
For the inauguration, Lavina said they would coordinate with Malacanang on protocols.
A team will also be identifying personal envoy to communicate with head of embassies in the Philippines, churches, civil society organizations, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, business chambers, World Bank, Japan International Cooperating Agency (JICA), Asian Development Bank, among others.
The inauguration, Lavina said, would be frugal in line with the mayor’s policy of not using people’s money for lavish events.