DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 May) – “You do not appoint somebody you do not trust,” incoming president Rodrigo Duterte said as he addressed criticisms of him being “limited” in his choices for his official family.
Duterte has appointed people within his social circle – from childhood friends to classmates.
The 71-year old mayor, who is completing his 22nd year as City Mayor by June 30, told a press conference late Saturday night that his social circle is small because of his limited interactions in Manila back in the days when he was still studying.
He said his sphere of influence during those days in Manila only covered classmates and the people he met and talked to while he was still studying college in Lyceum and Law in San Beda.
“Aside from that I don’t know anybody else in Manila,” he said. “Even when I was a congressman, I wasn’t socializing actually. Wala akong kilala who is a looming genius in government.”
Duterte was appointed OIC Vice Mayor after the February 1986 People Power, and was elected mayor from 1988 to 1992, was reelected in 1992 and 1995. He served as Congressman representing the first district from 1998 to 2001, returned to the mayoralty for three terms from 2001 to 2010, served as Vice Mayor to his daughter-mayor Sara from 2010 to 2013 and was again elected mayor in 2013.
“I could not have selected from a larger portion of the population for the simple reason that my (social) horizon is limited to school, dorm, friends, and brothers who are close to me,” he said.
“Everyone else is from Davao.”
“You do not appoint somebody that you do not trust,” he said. He added that he knows his appointees long enough to know their character, capacity, and honesty.
In previous conferences, Duterte also made it clear that his Cabinet appointments are based on competence in managing people, and not exactly on profession.
“When I say Department of Health, just because it is about health doesn’t mean I have to appoint a doctor,” he said. “If it’s engineering, I’m not bound to appoint an engineer.”
He said strong management skills are why his appointees are in their specified departments.
“That’s why you need brilliant people,” he said, adding that if you don’t know how to manage people and are only an expert on machines and computer, you won’t make the cut.
“If I can get people coming from schools for managers, dapat sila,” he said. “Manager talaga. It would help if you are a professional managing that particular department.”
Duterte, on Saturday night, met with Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and returning Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza. (Jesse Pizaro Boga / MindaNews)